CLINTON — In his team’s win over Davenport West on Tuesday, Clinton volleyball coach Micah Cewe said it was all about the last set.
“It was nice to get all of our seniors on the floor,” Cewe said. “With it being senior night, we didn’t know this year how many games we’d play, how many days we’d be able to practice, so it was great — especially in that last set — to get all of them on the floor.
“Seven of our eight players in the last set were seniors.”
Clinton defeated Davenport West 25-17, 25-12, 25-10 on Senior Night in Yourd Gym.
“This group is one of the hardest-working groups I’ve worked with and our senior class, we bond very well,” senior libero Rylie Mussman said. “There’s good chemistry and I just love this group.”
The River Queens raced out to a 5-0 first-set lead, forcing the Falcons to call timeout. Clinton extended that lead to 15-8 and cruised to the set win.
In the second set, Clinton jumped out to an 11-7 lead, forcing yet another Falcons’ timeout, but it was no use, as the River Queens went on a run to make it 21-12 and, after a kill from junior Jamie Greenwalt, Davenport West had to call time again.
Clinton got the last four points to win the set and then easily took the third as the seniors had a proper victory lap.
Cewe praised his team’s defense.
“Offense likes to take a lot of the glory and makes the stats on paper, but I really give props to our defense,” Cewe said. “Our serve-receive and our passing — and that’s a senior-laden group — we go places with our passing. When you have solid seniors like we do, good things can happen offensively.”
Senior Lakin Houzenga led Clinton with seven kills and three aces, while she and senior Elle Davis each had seven digs. Greenwalt had 16 assists. Senior Makenzie Cooley had three blocks.
After going 4-1 at the North Scott Invitational last weekend, Mussman said the team hopes to keep building on its success.
“I think we played at a lower intensity than we’re used to, but I think coming out of this weekend, it’s really improved and practice has gotten better,” Mussman said.
The River Queens will get another chance to show off their improvement at the River Queen Invitational this Saturday at Clinton.
“We’ll see some great competition this weekend,” Cewe said.
Clinton’s seniors are: Elle Davis, Lexy Lemke, Lakin Houzenga, Michelle Powell, Makenzie Cooley, Rylie Mussman and Madi Grey.