GOOSE LAKE – The Rebels have already come a long way this season, but still have some distance to go.
That was apparent in a 3-0 loss to River Valley Conference opponent North Cedar on Tuesday night in Goose Lake. The Rebels look infinitely improved from their first game of the year to their home match, but they fell 25-23, 25-11, 25-20.
“We’ve come a long way in understanding the game and where we need to be to do our jobs,” head coach Jacob Schafer said. “They believe that what we’re doing is working.”
The Rebels came out with an impressive energy in Set 1, jumping to a 5-1 lead. They looked impressive at the net with Claire Abbott and Neveah Hildebrandt getting touches on almost every attempted swing from the Knights.
The back row was touching almost everything North Cedar sent over the net, too.
“We figured out that there were a couple places of the game that we just didn’t get,” Schaefer said. “We did some learning and made some adjustments and it’s working.”
The Knights climbed back in, but the Rebels stayed consistent.
All tied up a 23-23, Northeast made a serving error and then saw North Cedar nail a kill down the left line, closing out the first set.
And then, the Rebels came out looking deflated.
Set saw Northeast struggle defensively, especially on serve receive. With very few decent passes finding their way to the setters, swings were hard to come by and the front row looked flustered and out of system.
They fell behind 9-2 before Hildebrandt put one away from the outside. They got back within three, but fell behind once again as North Cedar extended their lead out.
“It’s one of those things, that as a coach, you kind of have to scratch your head about,” Schaefer said. “We talk a lot about runs and controlling runs from the other team.”
They fell behind once again in the final set of the night, but this time worked their way back in. A pair of runs behind the serving of Valerie Spooner and then Bree Mangelsen helped them crawl toward the Knights.
Meanwhile, the backrow was back to being scrappy. Instead of watching balls drop, they were getting their hands on a little bit of everything. That sent the ball over to the Knights, causing them a lot of mistakes on their end.
“We started to talk about what it means to not accept the ball dropping,” Schaefer said about the back row. “And that that means going after the ball with everything we have and playing for the people that are in our family.”
They got back to a 22-20 score, but saw a couple of long rallies fall to North Cedar’s favor, closing out the conference match.
“It’s a long season and we have over half our conference matches left.” Schaefer said. “I’ve been telling them, keep trusting what we’re doing: it’s working.”
The Rebels (0-17) are back in action on Thursday, traveling to Bellevue (10-8) for another RVC match.
Steamers down No. 5 Orion
FULTON, Ill. – The Fulton volleyball team continues to impress.
In three tough sets, the Steamers knocked down Class 2A No. 5 Orion (MaxPreps) at home on Tuesday night 23-25, 25-23, 26-24.
Megan Bailey and Emily Schipper led the offensive effort. Schipper impressed, putting away 18 kills, while Bailey added another 11.
Schipper also dug up 20 hits in the back row, joining Ally Curley with 14 digs and Megan Bailey with 13 for a scrappy effort for the Steamers.
The combination of Schipper, Lily Eagle, Kylie Collachia, Kearston Norman and Kaitlyn Bruggenwirth notched nine total blocks.
The Steamers (9-2) travel to Riverdale on Thursday. They return home to take on Morrison on Sep. 24.
Clinton falls in MAC battle
DAVENPORT - The Clinton River Queens fell in a tough Mississippi Athletic Conference matchup on Tuesday night, losing to Davenport Assumption 3-1.
The River Queens took the first set, but fell 22-23, 25-12, 25-18, 25-21.
Senior Brooke Mulholland led the kill effort with 11, while Kelly Clark added another five.
Kaylee Camp had five total blocks and Rylie Mussman served up two aces.
Clinton (2-8) hosts their home tournament this Saturday, welcoming teams like Assumption, Muscatine, Central DeWitt and Wahlert Catholic to Yourd Gymnasium.
Camanche edges Bellevue in 5
BELLEVUE – The Camanche Volleyball team picked up a five-set River Valley Conference victory on the road against Bellevue, winning 25-19, 11-25, 26-24, 19-25, 15-5.
“The girls demonstrated mental toughness, especially in Game 3 when we were down 19-24 and came back to take the set,” assistant coach Erin Schlotfeldt said. “We served aggressive, which was nice to see.
“Maci Sloane had a great night at the net. It’s positive to see a different girls step into that leader role with every game.”
Sloane had an impressive 15 kills on 25 attempts in the five sets, adding three blocks to the mix.
Tarah Wehde had eight kills and Emy Seeser seven, and Maddie Michels had 13 digs in the back row. The team had a collective 14 service aces, including three from Tarah Wehde, Lauren Snyder and Maddie Michels.
The Indians (7-7) play North Cedar at home on Thursday night.
Unity defeats EMC
FULTON, Ill. - The Unity Christian Knights volleyball team dominated in a Tuesday night special, downing East Moline Christian in two.
The Knight's beat the Eagles 25-11, 25-13.
Both Carrie Willoughby and Kyra Wicklund put away six kills a piece, with Michelle Striley adding four. Maizie Wicklund ended with an impressive 11 service aces on the night.
The Unity Christian volleyball team heads to Pathway Christian on Friday night.