MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U.COM GAME OF THE WEEK (July 20–27)
WFCA 8-PLAYER ALL-STAR GAME: South 35, North 16
By Adam Krebs, Monroe Times
MONTICELLO — The Six Rivers East tightened up the all-time exhibition versus the Six Rivers West July 23 at the annual East vs. West Senior Showcase All-Star Game at Monticello High School.
Led by 2020 East Player of the Year Bailey Butler, the East decisively toppled the West in four of the five sets, winning 25–16, 25–18, 25–20, 25–14, 15–17. The West leads the all-time series 3–2.
“It was a lot of fun and I was happy that we could even this up a little bit, 3–2,” said Rachel Wolff, Black Hawk’s longtime coach that stepped away after this past season.
Butler, from Black Hawk, finished the night with 16 kills, two blocks, two aces and six digs. Just one of her 14 serves missed, which was the theme for both sides all night. The East served at a 92.7 percent clip on 111 attempts, while the West finished at 90.8 percent on 87 tries.
Also having a big night for the East were Barneveld’s Leah Marx (14 kills, 5 blocks, 2 aces) and Black Hawk’s Makayla Mau (13 kills, 4 blocks). Pecatonica’s Sydney Eaton, Monticello’s Alexa Siegenthaler, Black Hawk’s Macie Stauffacher and Barneveld’s Kennedy Gordon all shared time at setter. Eaton has 12 assists, plus seven kills, while Siegenthaler ended the night with 10 assists and four kills.
Stauffacher had eight assists, and Gordon dished out six of her own. Also playing for the East were Black Hawk libero Erika Schultz, Juda’s Jocelyn Rufer and Pecatonica’s Lily Busser. Juda’s Maddie Smith and Albany’s Jada Flannery sat out due to injury.
“What a great bunch of kids. I told them after it was so fun to coach that group of kids, not just because of the skill, but because they are just great people and had great attitudes,” Wolff said.
For the West, Shullsburg’s Kayla Klotz and Potosi’s Lilly Post each finished with 10 kills. Highland’s Myah Hennessey added six kills. The West had just three aces on the night, with two coming from Cassville’s Jade McDonald, and Klotz adding the other. Highland’s Estee Goodwiler dished out 10 assists, while Shullsburg’s Layla Alt had six. Post added four blocks, while Alt had 3 and Klotz two. Benton’s Taylor Mowry finished the night with 10 digs, leading all players. Also playing for the West was River Ridge’s Kendall Esser and Benton’s Claire Tiedeman.
The West served with a lead just three times in the first four sets, 2–1 in the opening frame and 1–0 in the third and fourth periods. In the fifth set that all changed, however. The West took the first of five leads at 2–1, then the East went on an 8–4 run to go up 9–6. The West responded by taking seven of the next 10 points and a 13–12 advantage. Both squads traded points over the next six serves, with the East failing to return a volley at 16–15 ending the final set.
“It was nice to see this group of people here and not need to wear a mask, a little bit of back to normal,” said Wolff. “It feels so good, and I feel so happy for these players — so much has been taken from them, so to give something back is sweet.”
In the first set, the East turned a 2–1 deficit into a 13–6 advantage thanks to timely serving and big hits up at the net. Busser had a pair of aces in the 12–4 burst, while Marx had an ace. At the net, Mau had three kills, and the East took full control. After the West took four of seven points to make it 16–10, the East went on a tear again, scoring five straight and closing it out 9–6 overall.
In the second set, the East scored the first six points, thanks in part to five failed returns by the West and a kill from Marx. Leading 12–5, the East wasn’t done asserting dominance on its counterparts. A 6–1 run with kills from Butler and Marx and a pair of aces from Rufer gave the East a 13-point advantage that wouldn’t be relinquished.
The East kept up the barrage in Game 3, stringing off an 8–1 run off the bat, with the West failing to return a volley four times. The West brought its deficit back to three at 9–6, but the East responded once again with an 8–2 run to go ahead 17–8.
While the match victory was clinched after the first three frames, the annual game plays all five sets to give all of the seniors one final moment on the court in front of family, friends and supporters. In the fourth set, the West took the opening point, and stayed as close as 5–4 through the first nine serves. The East then tore off a 15–4 run, including a 7–0 burst with Butler at the service line to make it 20–8.
The event raised $817.50 from the game for American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, including more than $115 from a 50/50 Pitch-A-Pony contest, with the winner, Brent McDonald, donating his earnings back to the cause. The event has now raised more nearly $4,000 in five years. The 2020 game canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The East was coached by Wolff and assisted by Monticello’s Rebecca Gustafson. The West was coached by River Ridge’s Dianne Langmeier, and assisted by Shullsburg’s Hannah Pick. All players on both sides were all-conference athletes this past season, played in the fall of 2020.
2021 Six Rivers Conference All-Star Senior Showcase Match
East 4, West 1
(from Friday, July 23 @ Monticello)
West....16 17 20 14 17
East.....25 25 25 25 15
West stat leaders
Kills: Kayla Klotz 10, Lilly Post 10, Myah Hennessey 6, Layla Alt 3, Kendall Esser 3, Claire Tiedeman 2. Blocks: Lilly Post 4, Alt 3, Klotz 2. Assists: Estee Goodwiler 10, Alt 6. Aces: McDonald 2. Digs: Taylor Mowry 10, Esser 5, Alt 5, Goodwiler 4.
East stat leaders
Kills: Bailey Butler 16, Leah Marx 14, Makayla Mau 13, Sydney Eaton 7, Alexa Siegenthaler 4, Jocelyn Ruger 2, Lily Busser 2, Kennedy Gordon 1. Blocks: Marx 5, Mau 4, Butler 2, Busser 1. Assists: Eaton 12, Sigenthaler 10, Macie Stauffacher 8, Gordon 6. Aces: Buser 5, Marx 2, Butler 2. Digs: Butler 6, Marx 5, Erika Schultz 4, Mau 4.