The Maquoketa Valley Wildcats quest for a Tri-Rivers Conference Tournament volleyball championship came up short as the Wildcats lost a 2-1 semifinal match to eventual conference champion Lisbon, Oct. 17, at Easton Valley.
Maquoketa Valley won the opening set, 25-20, but dropped the next two 25-22 and 18-16.
Emerson Whittenbaugh led the way with 20 kills, 21 digs and a pair of blocks. Taya Tucker added 13 kills. Kylie Chesnut and Krista Ries had two blocks.
Defensively, Ella Imler had 21 digs, while Peyton Beamon had 10 and Avery Krapfl nine. The Wildcats were 59-for-61 in serves.
Maquoketa Valley reached the semis by defeating Easton Valley in the quarterfinals, 2-1. The Wildcats won the first set 25-19, lost the second 25-19, then took the decisive third set 15-9.
Whittenbaugh again led the team in kills with 18, followed by Tucker with nine. Whittenbaugh, Chesnut and Tucker produced strong defense at the net, with each player recording two blocks. Whittenbaugh added 20 digs to go along with 15 from Imler and 11 from Carissa Sabers.
Imler was 12-for-12 serving, while Whittenbaugh was 7-for-7 and Krapfl 6-for-6.
The Wildcats hosted first-round matches of the tournament, Oct. 15, going 2-1 on the evening and advancing to Saturday.
They lost to Springville 2-0, 21-17 and 21-14. Whittenbaugh had 12 kills, 21 digs and one block. Tucker added seven kills, while Haley Ronnebaum contributed a block. Imler came up with 15 digs and Tucker and Anna Deutmeyer added seven. Sabers was 8-for-8 serving as the team went 27-for-29 serving in the match.
A match against East Buchanan ended in a 2-1 Wildcat win, with Maquoketa Valley winning set one 21-16. They lost set two 21-17, but came back in set three for a 15-10 win.
Whittenbaugh led with 17 kills, followed by Tucker with nine. Imler led the defense with 18 digs, with Whittenbaugh adding 11. Imler was 10-for-10 serving, Whittenbaugh 8-for-8 and Deutmeyer 6-for-6.
Maquoketa Valley defeated Edgewood-Colesburg in straight sets 22-20 and 21-12. Whittenbaugh led with 12 kills and added seven digs and a block. Tucker produced eight kills and three blocks, while Chesnut had two blocks.
Imler led the defense with 12 digs, Deutmeyer six, Sabers five and was 10-for-10 serving. As a team, the Wildcats were perfect serving, going 38-for-38.
Head coach Brandy Whittenbaugh said her team is getting back to full strength after having players quarantined off and on during the past couple of weeks.
“I had three girls return off quarantine on Saturday so we are close to having our full roster back with a few added underclassmen that filled in. I thought the girls had a great day and we had a thriller match with Lisbon that could have gone either way,” coach Whittenbaugh said. “Our blocking game was one thing we struggled with on Saturday and that was the biggest take away so we do know what we will be working on for the next few days.”