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Wildcats edge Zephyrs for Benton title
SW volleyball
Southwestern took first place at the Benton Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 16. Pictured from left are: Kayla Slaats, Allison Kruser, Callista Brogley, manager Hailey Klaas, (back) Coach Neis, Kailey Droessler, Hailey Hinman, Emilie Reese, Abby Budden, Hope Pryzbylski, Maddy Myers and Coach Fleege. Not pictured are Julia Barnes, Lexie Ames and Mya Runde.

BENTON – Southwestern posted a perfect 4-0 record on the court, including a down-to-the-wire three-set victory over the host Zephyrs, to take home the title from the 2017 Benton Volleyball Invitational held at BHS on Saturday, Sept. 16.

The Wildcats (11-3 overall) won come-from-behind 2-1 decisions over both Benton, 15-25, 25-23, 18-16, and Argyle, 19-25, 25-14, 15-12, and swept matches against Barneveld, 25-15, 25-21, and Warren, 25-20, 25-13, to claim the title on the day

Callista Brogley quarterbacked the offense by distributing 67 assists throughout the day for the Wildcats. Abby Budden registered 22 kills, nine blocks and five aces, while Allison Kruser slammed down 21 kills and nine aces. Kailey Droessler totaled 48 digs on the day.

The Zephyrs (16-2) were playing without Sophie and Maggie Dougherty- their number two and three hitters- the entire tournament, and still put up quite a fight throughout the day with sweeps over Barneveld, 25-18, 25-15, Argyle, 25-14, 25-15, and Warren, 25-17, 25-17, to finish second overall at 3-1.

Emma Lawrence recorded 55 kills, 50 digs, 11 blocks and four aces to lead the Zephyrs. Kelsie Goffinet handed out 83 assists to go along with 36 digs and six blocks, while Lydia Jones chipped in with 21 kills, 28 digs and three aces.

Taylor Mowry had six aces and Savannah Hilby added 11 kills, 37 digs and seven blocks for Benton, Shay Soppe had five aces and 33 digs on the day.

Saturday’s tournament wrapped up a busy week that saw the #5-ranked Lady Zephyrs (5-1 SRW) fall out of first-place in the Six Rivers West for the first time in over a year when they fell in an epic five-set match to #4-ranked River Ridge at Patch Grove on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Momentum see-sawed between the teams from point-to-point and set-to-set. The Timberwolves (14-0, 5-0) took set one, 25-22, and set three 25-23, to take the lead on the Zephyrs, who bounced back each time with wins of 25-22 in set two and 25-18 in set four to force a decisive fifth set.

The Zephyrs built up an early 3-1 lead at the start of set five until a missed serve gave the T’Wolves the serve. Rylee Zinkle followed with four straight points with three aces to put the hosts into the lead to stay at 6-3. 

The Wolves pushed the lead to 13-8, and then put the match away with an ace by Faith Schier and a block kill by Skylar White, who finished the night with 17 kills and three blocks.

Taylor Langmeier chipped in with 15 kills and two blocks, while Zinkle served up five aces.

Lawrence did what she could do registering 27 kills, 33 digs, four blocks and two aces for the Zephyrs, who snapped a 19-match SRW winning streak dating back to 3-2 loss to Potosi back on Oct. 1, 2015.

In fact, Benton’s only league losses (five) going back to the 2014 season have been five-set losses to either Potosi (2014, 2015) or River Ridge (2014, 2015, 2017).

Goffinet distributed 42 assists and had 21 digs and four aces, while S. Dougherty pounded down 14 kills and M. Dougherty added 22 digs.

Benton bounced back on Thursday, Sept. 14, and garnered a clutch 3-1 win over the Potosi Chieftains at PHS.

After splitting the first two sets with a 25-17 win in set one and an 18-25 loss in set two, the Zephyrs posted back-to-back decisions at 25-19 and 25-23 to post the 3-1 win over the Chieftains (10-4, 3-2).

Lawrence smashed 18 kills along with five blocks, five aces and nine digs in the match. S. Dougherty added nine kills and two blocks, while Jones provided six kills, two blocks and 13 digs and M. Dougherty chipped in with six kills and four aces for the Zephyrs.

Abby Kaiser recorded 17 kills, 14 digs, five blocks and three aces to lead Potosi.

Benton has Six Rivers West matches at Highland on Thursday, Sept. 21, and at home against Belmont on Monday, Sept. 25. 

Benton…………. 22  25  23  25    8

River Ridge…… 25  22  25  18  15

Benton Leaders– Kills: Emma Lawrence 0, Maggie Dougherty 0, Sophie Dougherty 0. Blocks: S. Dougherty 0, Lawrence 0, Savannah Hilby 0.Assists: Kelsie Goffinet 0. Aces: Lawrence 0, S. Dougherty 0. Digs: Lawrence 0, M. Dougherty 0.

At Patch Grove on Tuesday, Sept. 12.


Benton…………. 25   18   25   25

Potosi………….. 17   25   19   23

Benton Leaders– Kills: Emma Lawrence 0, Maggie Dougherty 0, Sophie Dougherty 0. Blocks: S. Dougherty 0, Lawrence 0, Savannah Hilby 0.Assists: Kelsie Goffinet 0. Aces: Lawrence 0, S. Dougherty 0. Digs: Lawrence 0, M. Dougherty 0.

At Potosi on Thursday, Sept. 14 



At Benton on Saturday, Sept. 16

Records: Southwestern 4-0, Benton 3-1, Warren 2-2, Argyle 1-3, Barneveld 0-4.

Match Results– Southwestern def. Barneveld, 25-15, 25-21; Benton def. Barneveld, 25-18, 25-15. Southwestern def. Warren, 25-20, 25-13; Benton def. Warren, 25-17, 25-17. Southwestern def. Argyle, 19-25, 25-14, 15-12; Benton def. Argyle, 25-14, 25-15. Southwestern def. Benton, 15-25, 25-23, 18-16. 

SW Stat Leaders: Kills:  Abby Budden 22, Allison Kruser 21. Blocks: Budden 9. Assists: Callista Brogley 67. Aces: Kruser 9, Budden 5. Digs: Kailey Droessler 48. 

Benton Stat Leaders– Kills: Emma Lawrence 55, Lydia Jones 21, Savannah Hilby 11. Blocks: Lawrence 11, Hilby 7, Kelsie Goffinet 6. Assists:Goffinet 83. Aces: Taylor Mowry 6, Shay Soppe 5, Lawrence 4, Jones 3. Digs: Lawrence 50, Hilby 37, Kelsie Goffinet 36, Soppe 33, Jones 28.