By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
A pair of Tri-Rivers Conference wins last week enabled the Monticello High School volleyball team to move up the ladder and better position itself for the conference tournament that is scheduled for Oct. 13 at Starmont.
The wins were followed by a loss to Alburnett, but the Panthers still came out of the week 4-4 in conference play, with only an Oct. 9 match at Maquoketa Valley remaining in the regular season. The Panthers are 6-14 overall.
The standings are important in that seedings for the conference tournament are determined by a team’s Tri-Rivers record.
Monticello had three matches last week because the first one, Oct. 1 at home against East Buchanan, was a makeup match from one that was postponed Sept. 11 due to parent-teacher conferences.
In a four-set match, the Panthers prevailed 25-23, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21. Andrea Bone had a big match, with 10 kills. Sydney Owen made 12 digs. Allison Kraus led the team in aces with nine, and had five kills and five digs as well. Emma Lubben had six digs. Setter Erin Hosch made 25 assists.
Monticello came back the next night, Oct. 2, for its schedule home match against Springville. This time, the Panthers took care of their opponent in three sets, winning 25-17, 25-19, 25-22.
Hosch picked up 26 assists in this match, as the Panthers totaled 35 kills. Nicole Monck led the way with 11, Kraus had eight and Bone had seven.
The Panthers also had 43 digs, with three players collecting them in double figures. Owen had 14, Lubben had 11 and Kraus had 10. Monck also had three blocks and two aces to show for the evening.
Monticello played at Alburnett Oct. 4, and lost in three sets, 17-25, 13-25, 15-25. Individual statistics for that match were unavailable at press time.
Following the conference tournament, the Panthers will have nine days off from competition before they open regional play Oct. 22 with a 7 p.m. match at Cascade.
PHOTO: Allison Kraus of the Panthers makes a diving attempt to dig a Springville hit during the Oct. 2 match in Monticello. (Photo by Pete Temple)