No. 15 Panthers move to 8-0
Mt. Pleasant volleyball moved to 8-0 on the season and 3-0 in the Southeast Conference Thursday night, sweeping Keokuk in a home match.
The Panthers, now ranked No. 15 in Class 4A, won by scores of 25-19, 25-10 and 25-17.
“The key to winning this one was our attitude,” Mt. Pleasant Coach Jeff Schulz said after the game. “The skill was not there tonight, but the effort was. I thought we did things that were (fundamentally) sound, but it just didn’t work out — and a lot of credit for that goes to Keokuk. There were a lot of balls that should have been on the ground that weren’t.”
After holding off Keokuk for a win in the opening set, the Panthers went ahead 8-1 in the second game of the night. Keokuk fought back for a while, but the Panthers closed the door with an 11-2 run.
In the third set, the teams battled early in the match, but the Panthers started to pull away, going up 16-10 and then 19-11 before ending the game and the match.
On the night, the Chiefs came up with some key digs and blocks in response to a powerful Mt. Pleasant attack, not allowing the Panthers to coast to a victory.
“We need to work on covering during kills; we need to work on pretty much our entire offense,” Schulz said.
The offense was led by Lydia Smith and Mary Wester, who had 10 kills each. Smith didn’t have a single attack error on the night.
Kelsi Phipps came up with seven kills and had the team’s only block. Ashley Loving had 30 assists.
Loving also went 17-for-17 serving and had six of the Panthers’ 19 aces on the night. Brianne Potts was 15-for-15 and also served six aces.
Potts also led the team with 16 digs.
“I’m happy with our fundamentals,” Schulz said. “It might sound like a contradiction, but what we want to work on now is team stuff and individual stuff — playing together as a team, but also tweaking things for some individual players.”
The Panthers now tackle a long stretch of road games, as they play in the Wilton Tournament on Saturday. They then play at Ft. Madison, Ottumwa, the Ottumwa Tournament, the Burlington Tournament and at Washington.
Mt. Pleasant’s next home game will be Tuesday, Oct. 8, against Fairfield.