Conversely, Willey and her setting partner, Megan Sharkey, ran an up-tempo, multi-look offense that spread the ball to both pins. There were several times when Bettendorf's heaviest hitters had free rein on an open net. The two combined for 38 assists.
"That's probably the best block we've seen," Massey said. "We've been one of the state leaders in hitting efficiency, and I think they did to us what we've done to some other teams."
Wenzel said: "It's truly the hardest conference in the state. We knew we had to come out and play tough tonight to get the win."
The loss dropped Clinton to 20-9. The good news is the River Queens skirted MAC teams in state tournament play, and they have a week to prepare for either Cedar Rapids Kennedy or Waterloo East on Thursday, Oct. 31.
"All this loss means is we've got to have more heart at the end," Harris said.
If Bettendorf and Clinton meet again this season, it would mean a MAC showdown at the state tournament in Cedar Rapids. By then, something more than the conference trophy will be at stake.
BETTENDORF 25-25-25, CLINTON 20-18-15
Kills — Bettendorf (Devan Porter 11, Anna Willey 8), Clinton (Elle Tubbs 10, Erin Wenzel 8, Hannah Dehner 6). Assists — Bettendorf (Megan Sharkey 19, Willey 17), Clinton (Monique Harris 21). Digs — Bettendorf (Olivia Drexler 22, Porter 15), Clinton (Harris 17, Jordan Nelson 15, Raven Jones 15). Blocks — Bettendorf (Willey 4, Porter 3, Hannah Matt 3), Clinton (Dehner 2, Harris 1, Wenzel 1). Aces — Bettendorf (Willey 4), Clinton (Harris 2).
Bettendorf 25-25, Clinton 12-13
Clinton statistical leaders
Kills — Elley Housenga 2, Kassidy VanHorn 2. Assists — Abby Mulholland 6. Blocks — Housenga 2. Aces — Sam Brisch 4.