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Mish leads Potosi to regional volleyball title
Belmont falls to Chieftains in regional semifinal
potosi vb bausch
Potosi senior Rylie Bausch slammed 13 kills in the Chieftains sweep of Belmont last Thursday.

     POTOSI — Potosi’s Kate Mish isn’t ready to see her prep volleyball career end.
     The senior middle hitter has been playing the best volleyball of her career over the past few weeks and Mish’s hot streak continued last week in the WIAA Division 4 regional playoffs.
     After leading the Chieftains to back-to-back wins over Kickapoo and Belmont in Tuesday’s and Thursday’s opening rounds Mish blasted a match-high 20 kills and added a block to propel Potosi past Ithaca 22–25, 25–22, 26–24, 25–12 in Saturday night’s regional final.
     “It’s a great feeling,” said Potosi head coach Sydney Kittoe. “[Winning the regional title] was one of our goals in the beginning of the season and it is a wonderful feeling to check it off our list. Being able to achieve this on our home court, in front of our fans made this victory extra special.”
     On paper the sixth-seeded Bulldogs, who upset number 3 De Soto just to reach the regional final, should have been no match for the taller Six Rivers West champion Chieftains. But Ithaca stole the opening set, then forced a pair of back-and-forth battles in sets two and three.
     “Ithaca was a very good team,” added Kittoe. “They came out and were ready to play us, they were hyped and fed off the energy from their crowd.”
     Potosi found its rhythm in the fourth set and erased all doubt about which was the better team with a dominating 13-point victory in the title-clinching fourth set victory.
     Senior Abby Ames served four straight aces to begin the fourth set and Ithaca never recovered.
     Ames also passed out 35 assists and had two blocks to go along with her team-high five aces. Senior Rylie Bausch added 14 kills and eights blocks to the winning effort.
     The Chieftains (19–10–1) advanced to face eighth-seeded North Crawford (16–13–1) at Richland Center High School Thursday at 7 p.m.
     The Trojans are the champions of the Ridge and Valley Conference and quite possibly the hottest team in Division 4. In Thursday’s regional semifinals, North Crawford upset top-seeded Barneveld 3–2, then two nights later won an unexpected regional title with 3–1 upset of number four seed River Ridge.
     Potosi earned the right to face Ithaca in Saturday’s regional final by sweeping Six Rivers West foe Belmont, which actually beat the Chieftains on their own court just three weeks earlier, on Thursday.
     But this time around Potosi looked like a different team.
     The Chieftains were ready to play from the opening serve, trailing only briefly in the second set, en route to a 25–11, 25–23, 25–11 sweep that ended the Braves’ season.
     Mish and Bausch each floored 13 kills in the victory and this time around used their height advantage to frustrate Belmont hitters throughout the night.
     Mish stuffed nine Belmont attacks, while Bausch added two blocks.
     “Belmont is a very good team and I don’t think we were ready to play in the previous match,” said Kittoe. “This time around we realized what was at stake. After our loss to Belmont in conference, we had a bad taste in our mouth. I think that played a part in preparing ourselves for them again.”
     Potosi bolted out to a 10–4 first set lead and never trailed. Back-to-back kills by Mish made it 17–6. She added an ace, a block and two more kills in the set before the home team won the set on a Belmont serving error.
     The second set was a back-and-forth affair in which neither team led by more than three points.
     Trailing 21–22 Bausch slammed a kill to tie the match, then later served up a clutch ace to make it 24–22. After a Keegan Kamps kill kept the Braves allowed the set ended when Belmont was called for a lift trying to pass a Mish attack.
Potosi scored the first four points of the third set and never trailed.
     “Potosi just came out ready to play,” said Belmont coach Lauren Drury. “It was very obvious that they got some things figured out from the last time that we played them, they were a completely different team. They were quick and didn’t let anything hit the floor.
     “We started out flat and then that second game we looked more like ourselves and I was so hoping to pull that off. We struggled on passing and serving, two key areas that we have stressed to the girls all year. Potosi is a good team and I wish them the best with the rest of this season.”
      Potosi opened the playoffs with a 25–17, 25–17, 25–15 sweep of Kickapoo last Tuesday night.
Belmont (10–17–2) opened the playoffs with a 25–11, 25–21, 20–25, 25–11 victory over 10th seeded Argyle on Tuesday.

WIAA Division 4 Regional Final
Potosi 3, Ithaca 1
(from Thursday, Oct. 18 @ Potosi)
6) Ithaca        25    22    24    12
2) Potosi        22    25    26    25
Potosi stat leaders
Kills: Kate Mish 20, Rylie Bausch 14, Liz Reuter 5. Blocks: Bausch 8, Abby Ames 2, Reuter 2. Assists: Ames 35. Aces: Ames 5. Digs: Dawn Dines 15, Alex Taylor 12, Ames 8.

WIAA Division 4 Regional Semifinal
Potosi 3, Belmont 0
(from Thursday, Oct. 18 @ Potosi)
7) Belmont            11    23    11
2) Potosi                25    25    25
Potosi stat leaders
Kills: Kate Mish 13, Rylie Bausch 13. Blocks: Mish 9. Assists: Abby Ames 29. Aces: Paige Brinkman 1, Bausch 1. Digs: Dawn Dines 9.
Belmont stat leaders
Kills: Keegan Kamps 10, Jordyn Kamps 5. Blocks: Cassie McCarthy 2. Assists: Katelyn Schobert 14. Aces: Brianna Richers 2, Audrey Wedig 2. Digs: Audrey Wedig 8, K. Kamps 7.

WIAA Division 4 Regional Quarterfinal
Potosi 3, Kickapoo 0
(from Tuesday, Oct. 16 @ Potosi)
15) Kickapoo     17    17    15
2) Potosi             25    25    25
Potosi stat leaders
Kills: Rylie Bausch 10, Kate Mish 10. Blocks: Bausch 4. Assists: Abby Ames 20. Aces: Paige Brinkman 4. Digs: Dawn Dines 9.

WIAA Division 4 Regional Quarterfinal
Belmont 3, Argyle 1
(from Tuesday, Oct. 16 @ Belmont)
10) Argyle         11    21    25    11
7) Belmont        25    25    20    25
Belmont stat leaders
Kills: Keegan Kamps 15, Cassie McCarthy 11, Jordyn Kamps 5, Brianna Riechers 5. Blocks: K. Kamps 4, McCarthy 2. Assists: Katelyn Schobert 26. Aces: Brianna Riechers 5, Schobert 2, J. Kamps 2. Digs: K. Kamps 18, McCarthy 15.