By Kurt Ritzman
Assistant Sports Editor
Midway through Game 2 against Davenport on Thursday night, senior Alyssa Wing knocked down a kill, same as 1,000 times before.
Well, 999 times before to be exact.
It was the 1,000th kill of Wing’s career, making her only the second Clinton volleyball player to reach that number.
“It means the world to me,” Wing said. “I thought it was a possibility, maybe. I really had no clue I would get it (Thursday). I’m really happy about it. When (coach Mark Massey) announced it (after the game), I was really surprised. I was grateful that he said that to everybody in the stands and everybody was watching. I’m so grateful for Massey. It’s awesome.”
What made it even more special was it came during a 25-13, 25-16, 25-20 Senior Night win.
“It was a great Senior Night, a lot of tears,” Wing said. “That’s for sure. I couldn’t ask for a better team to play with.”
Clinton (19-9, 6-2 Mississippi Athletic Conference) didn’t play its best, Wing admitted, but that didn’t matter too much.
“All Senior Nights are good and Senior Nights you get a win are even better,” Massey said.
“Half the team was crying before the game started, so that probably had something to do with it,” Wing said of the less-than-stellar play. “We weren’t playing how we normally do. Our bodies were there, but we weren’t there mentally. Senior night is so overwhelming. What’s really going through the seniors’ minds is, ‘Wow, we’re out of here after this. This is our last home game’ — except this year we have a regional home game. It’s scary to think about. ... I don’t think we were really thinking about the game. We did pull it off in the end. We didn’t do it as well as we wanted to, but we did it. We’re happy with the win.”
Wing finished with 10 kills — four in Game 3 — in her final regular-season home match, joining Riki Stahl, who played for Clinton from 1990 to 1992, as the only River Queens to reach 1,000 kills.
“One of the special things about volleyball is the team aspect,” Massey said. “Most every kill that she gets — probably around 95 percent — reflect three good plays — the dig, the pass and the hit. Having said that, we’ve had a lot of great competitors and athletes that have played in this gym for 40 years and to be one of two to have 1,000 kills represents some things like consistency of effort. Alyssa has a tremendous passion for the game.”
While the night may have been about Wing — and fellow seniors Marquel Schultheis, Devin Matheny and Brittny Jewel — it was the junior class who provided a lot of the oomph.
Erin Wenzel knocked down a match-high 14 kills and served three aces. Monique Harris had 30 assists, three aces and three kills.
“The juniors have played a lot in the back row and been pretty dependable,” Massey said. “Mo, we hardly consider her a junior anymore. We get a lot of swings at the ball for a high school team and that’s what Mo does. It’s like having a great point guard who finds a lot of open people for shots.
“Erin Wenzel, teams may have overlooked her early in the season. I don’t think any have recently. It creates tough matchups for people because she jumps so well. ... They kind of jump-started us a little bit early.”
Wenzel had only one hitting error in the match.
Massey credited Matheny and Schultheis with great blocking games, which he said would be crucial as the River Queens near postseason play.
Clinton JV tops North
CLINTON — McKenzie Petersen had five kills and two blocks to lead the Clinton junior varsity to a 21-11, 21-12 win over Davenport North on Thursday.
Jordan Nelson dished out eight assists for the River Queens, and Gabby Haan came up with eight digs.
CHS sophomores fall
CLINTON — Rhegan Paulsen served eight aces and had five kills, but it wasn’t enough to lead Clinton over Davenport North.
The River Queens lost 21-25, 25-21, 15-6. Raven Jones had eight assists in the loss.
Clinton got three kills and a block from Cheyenne Johnson and a block from Haleigh Parr.
CLINTON 25-25-25, DAVENPORT NORTH 13-16-20
Kills — North (Clarissa Blick 6, Amanda Staack 4, Maggie Runge 3, Chloe Blick 3); Clinton (Erin Wenzel 14, Alyssa Wing 10, Marquel Schultheis 5). Assists — North (Anna Dressler 13); Clinton (Monique Harris 30). Ace serves — North (Dressler 1, Taylor Powell 1); Clinton (Elle Tubbs 4, Wenzel 3, Harris 3). Blocks — North (Runge 5, Ch. Blick 2); Clinton (Schultheis 2, Wing 1, Harris 1). Digs — Clinton (Wing 16, Gabby Haan 11, Harris 7).