CLINTON—Kaylee Camp got a kill off of the first serve from the Lancer on Tuesday night for the River Queens, and you could feel the excitement from the fresh-faced volleyball team.
Imagine that excitement after the Queens took the 12-3 lead over the Lancers.
However, the night ended in a 3-0 loss for Clinton at the hands of North Scott. They still had the veteran-laden Lancers on the ropes multiple times throughout the three sets.
The first 12 points were exiting for some new River Queens. Kaylee Camp and Makenzie Cooley were impressing in the middle with touches on almost everything, frustrating North Scott hitters and thrilling the Queens and crowd.
Plus, the defense seemed like there wasn’t a ball they couldn’t dig up. Rylie Mussman and Lakin Houzenga were all over the floor.
After taking the 12-3 lead in the Set 1, the Lancers called a timeout and took a mental break. They came back out and started crawling their way back in.
Meanwhile, a couple of points and you could see the confidence wane for the River Queens, especially in the front row. Swings slowed down and tips became more frequent, while the back all of a sudden struggled to get a decent pass up to the setter.
Two timeouts later and the Lancers tied it up at 22-22. They finished it out, the Queens falling 25-23 in the first set.
And you could tell that they felt defeated in Set 2. The shoulders slumped and the confidence has dwindled, and the Lancers were the one to jump out to a 12-6 lead.
They never really looked back, either. The Queens managed just 13 points in the 25-13 loss in Set 2.
The third set felt more like the beginning of the game, with the Queens coming back on the court with a newfound energy. However, the Queens were still having trouble hitting around the North Scott block, which was significantly taller than the entire Clinton roster.
Clinton battled for the first few points, back and forth with North Scott. Then, they pulled away a bit and forced a North Scott timeout with the Queens leading 17-12.
It looked like Clinton might pull out one of the sets despite their roster overhaul this season.
A couple of bad rotations, though, and the River Queens got into another mess. The Lancers not only came back from the deficit, but finished out the game strong with a 25-22 win to complete the sweep.
It still gives Clinton plenty to look forward to. North Scott is poised to be one of the top teams in the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Clinton competed with them outside of the second set. Their scrappy defense in the back and strong block gives plenty to look forward to.
Plus, head coach Micah Cewe played around with the rotation and it does not look set yet as the River Queens move on.
Brooke Mulholland led the kill effort on the night, switching between setting and attacking on the right side. She had 10 kills off of 20 attack attempts.
Bailey Wing, another senior, added six. Kaylee Camp and Makenzie Cooley each had three kills.
Housenga, Mussman and Kira Prince led the back row, combinging for 42 digs between the three of them.
The River Queens fall to 0-1 in MAC play and overall, and head to Ankeny Centennial this weekend for a tournament. They don’t return to Yourd Gymnasium until late September.