Herald Staff Report

MUSCATINE — Clinton made things interesting after an opening-game loss, but Muscatine was able to pull out late wins in each of the next two games to beat the River Queens 25-17, 26-24, 26-24 in Mississippi Athletic Conference volleyball Tuesday night.

“It was a tale of two matches tonight at Muscatine,” Clinton coach Mark Massey said. “In Game 1 we hit less than .000 with six hitting errors and four serving errors. We cut our serving errors in Games 2 and 3 and only had one hitting error in each of the last two. We hit over .300 with 22 kills in the last two games.”

Clinton led 16-11 in the second game, but a kill by Haylie Franklin started a comeback by Muscatine (19-3, 4-2 MAC). Clinton still led 20-16 when Muscatine started a five-point run to take the lead. The River Queens tied it a couple of times, the last at 24-24, but Muscatine scored the final two points to win it.

The River Queens (11-9, 4-2), who led by three points at one time in Game 3, were ahead 23-22 when Franklin took over. She had a kill to tie it, then after Sarah Massey had a kill for Clinton, Franklin closed out the match with three straight kills for the win. She finished with 18 kills in the match.

“She’s got the most kills in the league,” Mark Massey said. “She made me believe she is the real thing.

“I thought we blocked pretty well, and we hit well in the last two games. We had our chances. Franklin is the best hitter in the league that we've seen, and it took all of her at the end of those two games to beat us.”

Sarah Massey led Clinton with 13 kills and 16 digs, while Mallory Voss had five blocks, including two stuffs. Ashley Haugen had a team-high 13 assists.

Clinton will try to bounce back Saturday at the Davenport North Invitational.

“We’re disappointed in the outcome but not in our effort in the last two games,” Mark Massey said. “There’s a lot that we did well and can build on. We play like we finished last night and we can feel very good about ourselves. It’s up to us to make it happen.”

MUSCATINE 25-26-26, CLINTON 17-24-24

Clinton statistical leaders

Kills — Sarah Massey 13, Devynn Paulsen 5, Leisha Harris 3, Ashley Haugen 3. Aces — Mallory Voss 1, Kelsee Griswold 1, Haugen 1. Blocks — Voss 2 stuffs, 3 assists; Harris 1 stuff, 1 assist; Haugen 3 assists. Assists — Haugen 13, Courtney Camp 11. Digs — Massey 16, Paige Dehner 12, Paulsen 11, Haugen 8.

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