Panthers open RVC schedule by sweeping Bellevue

Jayden Kuper of Monticello (in gray) tips the ball past a Bellevue blocker in the Panthers’ home win Sept. 2. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Emma Sperflage winds up to serve the ball for Monticello Thursday against Bellevue.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Some strong starts, a hitting attack that produced 37 kills, and big contributions from several players led to a three-set sweep of Bellevue for the Monticello High School volleyball team.

     The win, in a match played Sept. 2 at MHS, gave the Panthers a 1-0 start in the River Valley Conference standings, and left them 2-3 overall. Monticello won by scores of 25-9, 25-17, 25-12.

     “It’s great to get that first conference win,” Monticello coach Stacie Breitbach said. “We’ve only got five more to go (in the North Division), so you can’t wait.”

     The Panthers got boosts from several players. Freshman Jayden Kuper had 11 kills, seven digs and served five aces. Bronwyn Hodge had eight kills and two blocks. Keziah McQuillen had six kills, eight digs and two aces. Emma Hynick had five kills and six digs, and Madison Butterworth had four kills.

     Mallory Steiner set up most of the team’s kills with her 21 assists, and Mya Hansen had eight assists. Jordan Fangmann was a big factor defensively with seven digs.

     “I feel like we blocked better than we have,” Breitbach said. “Defending our net brings more energy. When the defense plays well our offense is always sparked more.

     “I thought, offensively, we just executed plays better.”

     Monticello jumped ahead of the Comets early, taking leads of 5-0 and 11-3 in the first set. With Hansen serving, the Panthers ran off eight straight points later in the set to pull to a 19-5 lead, and cruised to a 16-point win from there.

     “To come out and be that aggressive and confident, that was huge,” the coach said.

     The second set was tougher for Monticello. The Panthers erased an early 5-0 deficit to make it 5-5, but the Comets stayed close. Monticello led 15-14, and then went on a 10-3 run to close out a 25-17 win. Hynick served the last four of those points, and a kill by Kuper ended the set.

     “They came back strong, and that was good to see,” Breitbach said. “I think that’s a good lesson that they can build on.”

     The third set was more like the first. This time, Monticello scored the first seven points, led 9-1 and 19-6, and closed out the match 25-12. Several players came off the bench to help the cause.

     “It’s super fun when everybody plays and everybody contributes,” the coach said.


Sept. 2

Monticello 3, Bellevue 0

MONTICELLO                            Kl     Bl    Dg   Ac

Emma Hynick                               5      0      6      0

Bronwyn Hodge                            8      2     2      0

Madison Butterworth                     4      1      3      0

Keziah McQuillen                          6      0     8      2

Jordan Fangmann                         0      0     7      0

Jayden Kuper                              11      2      7      5

Mallory Steiner                             1      1      4      1

Piper Hansen                               0      0     5      0

Mya Hansen                                 0      0      1      1

Mia Jaeger                                   0      0      3      0

Lacie Koppes                               1      0      1      0

Emma Sperfslage                        0      0      0      0

Kylee Van Dorn                            0      0      1      0

Abby Sharlow                              1      0      0      0

Totals                                         37     6     48     9

Assists – Steiner 21, M. Hansen 8, Hodge 2,

Kuper 1, Fangmann 1, McQuillen 1,

Jaeger 1.

Serving leaders – Steiner 14-14,

Hynick 10-10, McQuillen 10-11.

Set scores

Bellevue                          9   17   12

Monticello                   25   25   25



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