Panthers clinch share of North Division crown


Tori McDonald of Monticello sets up a teammate during the Panthers’ home sweep of North Cedar Oct. 1. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Bronwyn Hodge records a block for the Panthers against North Cedar.
VOLLEYBALL
By: 
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Two big wins against River Valley Conference opponents last week left the Monticello High School volleyball team in an enviable spot: with at least a share of the North Division championship.

     The Panthers (5-0 in the division, 13-8 overall) swept Northeast in three sets Sept. 29 in Goose Lake, then did the same at home Oct. 1 against North Cedar.

     The outright division crown comes down to a rescheduled match at Anamosa, which will be held Tuesday, Oct. 13. If Monticello wins, the Panthers are the division champs. A loss would mean a three-way tie for the title, along with Anamosa and Cascade.

     “The best case is to win, but at the very least we will have a share of the title and the kids will get their year on the (volleyball conference championship) banner,” Monticello coach Stacie Breitbach said. “They are excited about that.”

     Only divisional matches count in the division standings, so the Oct. 8 contest at Mid-Prairie will have no bearing on the North Division race.

     Monticello had much to be excited about last week. They scored a big first-set victory at Northeast Tuesday, 25-19, then won the next two 25-14, 25-16 to sweep the match.

     “It is always great to come out in the first set and win,” Breitbach said. “It sets a tone for the night.”

     The Panthers were balanced both on offense and defense. Six different players had at least three kills in the match, led by Keziah McQuillen and Bronwyn Hodge with seven apiece. Tori McDonald had 20 assists.

     Defensively, DeLainy Fellinger had 16 of the team’s 61 kills, while Mallory Steiner and McQuillen had 10 apiece.

     “We were super scrappy,” the coach said. “We did a great job of getting to the ball on defense and that helped set up our offense. We have a really balanced attack, and Lainy has done a great job leading our defense.”

     McDonald also served 17-for-17, Piper Hansen served 10-for-10, and Steiner had four aces. Emma Hynick and Hodge had three blocks apiece.

     Back home Thursday, the Panthers gained big leads in all three sets to sweep North Cedar 25-12, 25-12, 25-16.  After taking a 15-10 lead in the first set, Monticello went on a 10-2 run to close it out.

     The Panthers ran up double-digit leads in the next two, leading 18-7 in the second set and 20-10 in the third, before going on to win. An ace by Steiner ended the third set and clinched the match.

     “Our front row did a great job with hitting and blocking,” Breitbach said. “It was our best match of the season as far as kill efficiency. Tori did a nice job leading our offensive attack. And I felt our defense dug up what they were hitting at us.”

     Monticello collected 33 kills against the Knights, led by McDonald with nine and Beka Prull with seven. Fellinger had seven digs, while McQuillen had six and Hynick had five. McDonald and Steiner had 11 assists apiece. Fellinger served 15-for-15.

     “Overall, we were competitive the whole match, and it was a great team win.”

    

Sept. 29

Monticello 3, Northeast 0

MONTICELLO                            Kl    Bl   Dg    Ac

DeLainy Fellinger                         0      0   16      1

Tori McDonald                              4      0      8      1

Emma Hynick                               3      3      8      0

Beka Prull                                     3      2      3      0

Keziah McQuillen                         7      0   10      0

Mallory Steiner                             1      0   10      4

Bronwyn Hodge                           7      3      0      0

Madison Butterworth                    3      1      1      0

Jaelyn Aitchison                           0      0      1      0

Piper Hansen                               1      0      4      0

Jordan Fangmann                        0      0      0      0

Totals                                          29   10     61     6

Assists – McDonald 20, Steiner 5,

Fellinger 3, Prull 1.

Serving leaders – McDonald 17-17,

Hansen 10-10.

Set scores

Monticello                    25   25   25

Northeast                     19   14   16

 

Oct. 1

Monticello 3, North Cedar 0

MONTICELLO                            Kl    Bl    Dg    Ac

DeLainy Fellinger                         0      0      7      1

Tori McDonald                              9      2      2      1

Emma Hynick                               4      0      5      0

Beka Prull                                     7      2      0      1

Keziah McQuillen                         5      0      6      0

Mallory Steiner                             2      0      4      2

Bronwyn Hodge                           3      3      0      0

Madison Butterworth                    2      1      3      0

Jaelyn Aitchison                           0      0      0      0

Piper Hansen                               1      0      0      0

Emma Sperfslage                        0      0      0      0

Jordan Fangmann                       0      0      3      1

Aubree Fairley                             0      0      0      0

Lacie Koppes                              0      0      0      0

Totals                                         33    8     30      6

Assists – McDonald 11, Steiner 11,

Fellinger 5, McQuillen 2, Fangmann 1.

Serving leaders – Fellinger 15-15,

McQuillen 13-13, McDonald 11-11.

Set scores

North Cedar                12   12   16

Monticello                    25   25   25

 

 

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