POTOSI - Without Kendall Wienkes, the departed two-time all-state, conference Player of the Year, the Highland volleyball team is no where near the state championship caliber level it played at the past two years. But until someone knocks them off, the Cardinals are still the reigning champions of the Six Rivers West Conference.
Last Thursday night the Potosi Chieftains took their first crack at the defending champs in league play. First-year coach Sydney Kittoe’s club used a balanced team attack led by 6-foot, 1-inch junior middle hitter Rylie Bausch to sweep the visiting Cardinals 25-23, 25-19, 25-15.
Bausch slammed a team-high 15 kills and had seven blocks in a good head-to-head battle with Highland’s Taylor Wienkes (10 kills, 8 digs), and got more help from her teammates. Junior Kate Mish floored nine kills and had four blocks, while seniors Maleah Mumm and Ashley Flesch added nine and eights kills apiece.
“Against Highland, the girls were definitely ready to play. They knew the importance of the match, and they played their best volleyball of the season so far,” explained Sydney Kittoe. “They did an excellent job of reading Highland’s hitters, and really got after it. “I know from a coaching stand point, what I enjoyed about this win was the team effort that was shown. From the girls on the floor, to the girls on the bench, this was a great victory for our team and the girls should be very proud.”
A Bausch kill gave Potosi a 24-21 lead at the end of Game 1, then after back-to-back Wienkes kills made it a one-point match, Bausch blocked Emily Wolfe for game-point.
In Game 2 Potosi jumped out to an 8-2 lead on Mumm’s serve, then used an 8-1 run later in the game to build an insurmountable 23-11 lead.
An 8-2 run late in Game three gave the Chieftains’ a 22-13 lead and after back-to-back Highland errors gave Potosi game-point, Flesch aced the final point of the evening.
With the win Potosi improved to 10-5 overall and 5-0 in league play staying in a first-place tie with unbeaten River Ridge (5-0 SRW).
Last Tuesday Potosi shook off a Game 1 loss at Cassville to rally for a 24-26, 25-20, 25-7, 25-22 victory over the Comets.
Bausch floored 11 kills, while Flesch and Mumm added eight each for the winners.
Potosi 3, Cassville 1
(from Tuesday, Sept. 13 @ Cassville)
Potosi 24 25 25 25
Cassville 26 20 7 22
Potosi stat leaders: Kills - Rylie Bausch 11, Ashley Flesch 8, Maleah Mumm 8. Blocks - Kate Mish 8. Assists - Emily Hill 30. Aces - Bausch 6. Digs - Abby Ames 14.
Potosi 3, Highland 0
(from Thursday, Sept. 15 @ Potosi)
Highland 23 19 15
Potosi 25 25 25
Potosi stat leaders: Kills - Rylie Bausch 15, Kate Mish 9, Maleah Mumm 9. Blocks - Bausch 7. Assists - Emily Hill 22. Aces - Ashley Flesch 2, Abby Ames 2, Hill 2. Digs - Ames 12.