Clinton is led by its own second-team all-state player -- senior Monique Harris, the school’s all-time leader in assists and aces. She comes in averaging 8.27 assists a game, 3.42 digs, 0.87 aces and 0.45 blocks. Fellow senior Erin Wenzel leads the way in kills (4.94 a game).
“The big thing in modern volleyball is it’s an attacking game,” Massey said. “You’ve got to be able to block and dig and maybe get them out of system. We feel we can be a very good blocking team. The key thing is to identify who is going to get the set and where it’s going to go.”
The River Queens have seen them a couple of times in person. They were in opposite pools and didn’t square off at the Bettendorf tournament, but the Bulldogs defeated the River Queens 21-11, 21-16 on Sept. 14 at the North Scott Invitational.
The Queens aren’t conceding anything in the rematch, though. They have several factors going their way.
They’re coming off their best match of the year -- a five-set win last Tuesday against eighth-ranked Pleasant Valley in which they battled back from an 0-2 deficit.
Recent history is on their side. A year ago, they also lost to Bettendorf at North Scott but won the conference matchup later in the year at Bettendorf before dropping the regional final match to the Bulldogs at Davenport West. Massey’s teams have a pretty good record against teams that beat them earlier in the season.
“We’re probably playing for more than (in) the first week of the year,” Massey said.
“One of the big things -- I don’t know if coaches directly teach it or emphasize it -- is competitiveness and ability to get things done in big moments. We’ve got a lot of trust in our kids to get it done in big moments. Erin has been up here three years, Mo for four. It’s never guaranteed, but we are pretty confident to trust those kids to make adjustments. We talk of the concept to fix it.”