CLINTON — On Saturday, Clinton rolled through pool play during its home volleyball tournament. But in the semifinals against Muscatine — who Clinton lost to in five sets on Tuesday — the River Queens once again fell short.
Clinton took down Dubuque Senior, United Township (Ill.) and Davenport North with relative ease, sweeping all three of the pool play matches and winning each set by seven or more points in games to 21. The 3-0 start gave the River Queens the top seed entering bracket play of the tournament, where they headed up the Muskies in the first round.
It turned into an all-Mississippi Athletic Conference bracket, with North securing the second seed in Clinton’s pool and Davenport Assumption winning the pool featuring Muscatine.
“It was a good 3-0,” Clinton co-coach Mark Massey said of pool play. “The fact that it was all MAC at the end goes to show you the type of competition we’re against this year.”
Also in the mix was Central DeWitt, who, despite going 0-3 in pool play, hung with primarily larger schools and took both Central and Muscatine to three sets before bowing out.
“We talked a lot about the growth we’ve made since our first tournament,” DeWitt coach Peggy Kuehn said. “I saw tremendous improvement today. Doing the little things right. And I saw a lot of great touches.”
Katie Irwin led the Sabers with 20 kills while Mackenzie Kuehn led with 55 assists. Kuehn said she was satisfied, overall, with her team’s performance.
During the semifinals, Clinton and Muscatine had a back-and-forth Set 1 with neither team able to separate until the final 10 points. River Queens outside Erin Wenzel keyed several big points with a kill, a block and another kill to give Clinton its 17th, 18th and 19th points of the game.
The Muskies continued to pull away, though, with strong defense by libero Emily Clemens and powerful net play by outside Shalyn Greenhaw. Muscatine escaped with a 25-20 first set win.