MUSCATINE -- After a solid 7-0 start to the 2013 volleyball season, the Clinton River Queens dropped their first two matches of the year when they went 2-2 on Saturday at the Muscatine Invitational.
Co-coach Mark Massey said he wasn’t worried, though, about his team’s overall trajectory.
“It’s a process,” he said. “We’ve still got three more invitational tournaments and most of our conference matches to go. We’re disappointed in how we played at times, but we still did some good things. We like our attitude going forward.”
Clinton opened the tournament with two wins -- 2-1 over Williamsburg and 2-0 over North Scott -- before being swept 2-0 by both Muscatine and Davenport Assumption. Massey said the hot weather affected the River Queens’ performance.
The tournament gave the staff good information on other teams in the Mississippi Athletic Conference.
“Assumption had some pretty tough servers, and we just seemed to be a little out of rhythm,” Massey said. “I think we feel we’d like that senior leadership to step up and help us with communication. Assumption has a couple of good hitters.”
During the match in question, only three players managed attack attempts. Elle Tubbs led Clinton with five kills on 22 attempts. Senior setter Monique Harris tied for second on the team in kills with three, despite being the team’s main facilitator. She finished with eight assists against the Knights, who won 21-14 and 21-10.
Clinton had a stronger showing against Muscatine but still fell 25-12 and 25-18. Erin Wenzel led the River Queens with five kills, and Liz Wilke finished with four. Harris dished out 14 assists.
Wenzel stepped up in a big way as Clinton gutted out a narrow 21-18, 17-21, 15-7 win over Williamsburg. The senior finished with 11 kills on 26 attempts. Tubbs had six and was errorless on her nine attempts.
The River Queens took down North Scott 21-11, 21-19, earning them their second sweep of the Lancers in four days. Wenzel had 10 kills while hitting .421, followed by Tubbs’ seven kills. Harris had 19 assists.