POTOSI — Three of the best players in the Six Rivers West traded kills Thursday night in a back and forth prep volleyball match at Potosi High School.
Senior Taylor Kennedy slammed a match-high 29 kills in a spirited effort to lead the Chieftains on Potosi’s Parents’ Night.
But the Braves and their senior standouts Jannie deHaan and Keegan Kamps played the role of party crashers.
Belmont’s twin towers — who are both taller than any player on the Potosi roster — combined for 41 kills as Belmont rallied from a 2–1 deficit to take Thursday’s SRW match 12–25, 25–23, 27–29, 25–22, 15–8.
DeHaan smashed a team-high 23 kills, while Kamps posted 18 kills, including six in the decisive fifth set. Fellow senior Katelyn Schobert passed out a match-high 47 assists, feeding deHaan and Kamps as Belmont improved to 3–2 in conference play. Meanwhile Potosi fell to 11–4 overall and 2–3 in the Six Rivers West.
“We are very fortunate to have the height on our team, that we do,” said Belmont head coach Lauren Runde. “When Keegan and Jannie are both on, it shows in our scores, simple as that. Keegan continues to show great leadership on the court year after year. We are also fortunate to have Jannie stepping up in a big way this season filling the shoes of Jordyn Kamps.
“Katelyn does an excellent job of feeding our hitters at the appropriate times. She knows exactly when we need to use these two and when we need to switch it up.”
“Obviously, their size is a disadvantage for us,” said Potosi head coach Jolene Murray. “I knew our size would hurt us at times, but my girls play a lot bigger than they are. It was tough to get blocks on those good sets to the outside. There setter did an amazing job in that match with both sets and digs.”
Potosi dominated the opening set, racing out to a 6–1 lead on the serve of junior setter Calie Gibson. The Chieftains never trailed in the set and Kennedy crushed back-to-back kills to close out the game one win.
Belmont battled back and evened the match at a set apiece holding off a late Potosi rally. The Chieftains tied the set at 15, 18, and 21 before a Kamps’ ace and a pair of deHaan kills closed out a two-point win.
Belmont led throughout the third set and by as much as seven points at 23–17. The Braves even had five straight match points beginning at 24–19, but the resilient Chieftains stormed back to win the marathon set, 29–27.
Potosi took a 27–26 lead when Taylor Bloyer made a diving save on a ball headed out of bounds, and again at 28–27 on a Kennedy tip. A Belmont error ended the set.
“I was really proud of my girls for coming back and winning that third game,” said Murray. “They battle and don’t give up, there’s no doubt about it. Taylor seems to be our key in getting our team excited and pumped up. When she gets those big kills, the excitement just spreads. It helped when our fans and student body really got into that game.”
The Chieftains used their new-found momentum and seven early kills by Kennedy to build a 15–10 lead in the fourth set and appeared on their way to a victory. But Belmont returned the comeback favor, scoring 15 of the set’s final 22 points, taking advantage of four missed serves by Potosi.
“Game four is a game we should have taken and one we needed,” said Murray. “It doesn’t fare well when you miss four or five serves in one game. We could have expanded a bigger lead if we wouldn’t have done that.”
Belmont took a 5–1 lead in the fifth and final set with deHaan at the net and never trailed.
Potosi pulled within a point at 7–6, but the Chieftains committed five errors in the final 10 points of the match.
“We played really well once we got going,” said Belmont head coach Lauren Runde. “I feel as though the girls are always nervous to play Potosi, no matter what the sport. I knew we just needed to get our nerves worked out after that first set. I’m so proud of them for battling back. If they come out with that same intensity and confidence we had at the end of that match every night, the rest of the season will be fun.”
Last Tuesday River Ridge handed Runde’s Braves a 3–1 defeat 23–25, 25–19, 26–24, 32–30. Kamps had 11 kills in the loss.
Also last Tuesday Potosi defeated Benton 20–25, 25–16, 26–24, 25–21. Kennedy floored 23 kills. Junior Maddie Hawes added 14 kills and 26 digs, while freshman Abby Kaiser had six kills. Junior Calie Gibson passed out 36 assists in the win.
Monday night Potosi defeated Cassville 25–19, 22–25, 25–19, 25–19 in the Chieftains’ Pack it Pink breast cancer fundraiser match.
Belmont (5–3–1, 3–2 SRW) will next travel to Benton on Thursday before taking part in the Mount Horeb Invitational on Saturday.
Potosi (12–4, 3–3) will host Shullsburg on Monday and Highland on Tuesday.
Belmont 3, Potosi 2
(from Thursday, Sept. 18 @ Potosi)
Belmont 12 25 27 25 15
Potosi 25 23 29 22 8
Belmont stat leaders
Kills: Jannie deHaan 23, Keegan Kamps 18. Blocks: Brianna Riechers 3. Assists: Katelyn Schobert 47. Aces: deHaan 2. Digs: Maddie Rand 27, Brook Knebel 13.
Kills: Taylor Kennedy 29, Maddie Hawes 7, Abby Kaiser 6. Blocks: Kaiser 3, Hawes 2. Assists: Calie Gibson 38. Aces: Three tied with one. Digs: Hawes 29, Gibson 23, Taryn Stappert 20, Kennedy 18, Emily Langmeier 12.
River Ridge 3, Belmont 1
(from Tuesday, Sept. 16 @ Belmont)
River Ridge 23 25 26 32
Belmont 25 19 24 30
Belmont stat leaders
Kills: Keegan Kamps 11, Jannie deHaan 7. Blocks: Kamps 2. Assists: Katelyn Schobert 21. Aces: Paige Nolan 3, Brianna Riechers 2. Digs: Maddie Rand 34.
Potosi 3, Benton 1
(from Tuesday, Sept. 16 @ Benton)
Potosi 20 25 26 25
Benton 25 16 24 21
Potosi stat leaders
Kills: Taylor Kennedy 23, Maddie Hawes 14, Abby Kaiser 6. Blocks: Kaiser 4, Kennedy 2. Assists: Calie Gibson 36. Aces: Kennedy 2, Calie Gibson 2, Taryn Stappert 2, Emily Langmeier 2. Digs: Hawes 26, Stappert 22, Kenndey 14, Gibson 13.
Potosi 3, Cassville 1
(from Monday, Sept. 22 @ Potosi)
Cassville 19 25 19 19
Potosi 25 22 25 25
Potosi stat leaders
Kills: Taylor Kennedy 30, Abby Kaiser 12. Blocks: Kaiser 2. Assists: Calie Gibson 46. Aces: Taryn Stappert 5. Digs: Stappert 29, Maddie Hawes 26.