Panthers reach RVC semifinals


Jayden Kuper of Monticello (13) tries to thwart an attack by West Liberty in the semifinals of the River Valley Conference Tournament Oct. 14 in Wilton. Backing up the play for the Panthers are Keziah McQuillen (left) and Emma Hynick. (Photos courtesy of Jessica Hansen)

Bronwyn Hodge (left) awaits a set from Monticello teammate Mallory Steiner in first round action from the River Valley Conference Tournament Oct. 12 in Monticello.
VOLLEYBALL
By: 
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Because the Monticello Panthers had such a strong showing in the River Valley Conference throughout this volleyball season, it figured that they would also perform well in the conference tournament.

     The Monticello Panthers did that, sweeping their two pool play matches Oct. 12, and then winning a quarterfinal match in bracket play before falling to eventual conference runner-up West Liberty.

     Monticello’s 3-1 result in the two-day tournament left it with a season record of 18-8 heading into Class 2A regional play.

     “I’m super proud of the girls and what they have accomplished so far,” Monticello coach Stacie Breitbach said. “I like how well our girls play together and realize it takes everyone to get the win.”

     The Panthers were scheduled to play host to Dubuque Wahlert in a regional quarterfinal match Oct. 18; results and details will appear in the Express next week. The winner was to face either Independence or Center Point-Urbana in a regional semifinal match Oct. 20 at Independence.

     Because the Panthers were North Division champions in the RVC, they got to be one of the four host sites for the round robin portion of the conference tournament.

     That was Oct. 12, and the Panthers swept both Iowa City Regina (21-16, 21-19) and Mid-Prairie (21-15, 21-10).

     In the Regina match, Jayden Kuper had 11 kills and 11 digs, while Mallory Steiner had 25 assists. Emma Hynick had 13 digs, and Keziah McQuillen had nine.

     Mid-Prairie was a rematch from a Panther sweep just five days earlier, and Monticello did the same again, winning 21-15, 21-10. Steiner again had 25 assists, as the Panthers put up a balanced attack. Bronwyn Hodge and Kuper had six kills apiece, Madison Butterworth had five, while Hynick and McQuillen had four apiece. McQuillen and Steiner both served 10-for-10.

     “Against Mid-Prairie and Regina, we attacked the ball and were scrappy on defense,” Breitbach said. “We also served aggressively.”

     That moved the Panthers into bracket play Oct. 14 at Wilton. There, Monticello edged North Cedar 21-16, 16-21, 15-10. McQuillen had a big match with eight kills and 10 digs. Piper Hansen and Kuper each had seven digs. Kuper made four blocks and served 15-for-15.

     “North Cedar has good blockers, and we needed to adjust some of our attacking strategies to be more effective,” the coach said.

     West Liberty overtook the Panthers in the semifinals, however, as Monticello lost 14-25, 19-25.

     “West Liberty has the best outside hitter we have seen all season in Macy Daufeldt (13 kills in the match),” Breitbach said. “We kept them more off balance in game two and were able to get offense going on our side.”                                    

     The team had 34 digs, led by Hynick and Kuper with seven apiece, Piper Hansen and McQuillen with six each. Hodge and Kuper had three blocks apiece. McQuillen served 10-for-10.

 

Oct. 12

River Valley Conf. Tourney

(at Monticello)

Round robin, match 1

Monticello 2, I.C. Regina 0

MONTICELLO                            Kl     Bl  Dg   Ac

Emma Hynick                               4      0    13     0

Bronwyn Hodge                            7      1     1      0

Jayden Kuper                              11      0   11      1

Mallory Steiner                             0      0     4      0

Keziah McQuillen                         3      0     9      1

Jordan Fangmann                        0      0     3      0

Piper Hansen                               0      0     2      0

Abby Sharlow                              1      0      1      0

Totals                                         26     1     44     2

Assists – Steiner 25.

Serving leaders – Steiner 8-8.

Set scores

Iowa City Regina        16   19

Monticello                   21   21

 

Round robin, match 2

Monticello 2, Mid-Prairie 0

MONTICELLO                            Kl     Bl   Dg   Ac

Emma Hynick                               4      0     2      1

Bronwyn Hodge                            6      1     0      0

Jayden Kuper                               6      2     0      0

Mallory Steiner                             0      0     4      2

Keziah McQuillen                         4      0     4      0

Jordan Fangmann                        0      0     2      1

Piper Hansen                               0      0     3       1

Madison Butterworth                    5      1      1      0

Totals                                          25     4    16      5

Assists – Steiner 25, P. Hansen 1, Hodge 1,

Butterworth 1.

Serving leaders – McQuillen 10-10,

Steiner 10-10, P. Hansen 8-8.

Set scores

Mid-Prairie                  15   10

Monticello                   21   21

 

Oct. 14

River Valley Conf. Tourney

(at Wilton)

Quarterfinal

Monticello 2, North Cedar 1

MONTICELLO                            Kl     Bl   Dg   Ac

Emma Hynick                               3      1     3      0

Bronwyn Hodge                            5      1     0      0

Jayden Kuper                               4      4     7      0

Mallory Steiner                             3      0     2      1

Keziah McQuillen                         8      1   10     0

Jordan Fangmann                        0      0     4      2

Piper Hansen                               0      0     7      0

Madison Butterworth                    3      2      0      0

Jaelyn Aitchison                           0      0      4      0

Totals                                          26     9    37      3

Assists – Steiner 15, Kuper 3, McQuillen 1.

Serving leaders – Kuper 15-15.

Set scores

Monticello                    21   16   15

North Cedar                16   21   10

 

Semifinal

West Liberty 2, Monticello 0

MONTICELLO                            Kl     Bl   Dg   Ac

Emma Hynick                               1      2     7      0

Bronwyn Hodge                            5      3     1      0

Jayden Kuper                               3      3     7      0

Mallory Steiner                             0      0     4      1

Keziah McQuillen                         4      0     6      0

Jordan Fangmann                        0      0     2      0

Piper Hansen                                0      0     6      0

Madison Butterworth                     2      1      1      0

Totals                                           15     9     34     1

Assists – Steiner 11, Hynick 1, Kuper 1.

Serving leaders – McQuillen 10-10.

Set scores

Monticello                   14   19

West Liberty               25   25

 

 

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