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Season ends on the road at Benton

Lady Spartans fall 3-1 to Bobcats in regional

VAN HORNE– It was too much Abby Brunssen.
The Benton Community senior, a unanimous First Team All-WaMaC Conference selection, carried the Bobcats to a 3-1 win over Solon’s varsity volleyball squad in a Class 3A Region 6 quarterfinal Oct. 23 in Van Horne.
“Abby was definitely the difference in the game,” said Solon Head Coach Sarah Ferin. “She went over us, and converted every free ball– credit to her player of the year title for sure.”
Brunssen powered her team with 37 kills.
Solon countered with defense, recording 15 blocks for the game.
“Our blocking definitely kept us in the game,” Ferin noted. “We had been working on it a lot and it was great to see the girls putting that into play.”
The Lady Spartans took the first game of the tightly-contested match, 25-21, but lost the second in extended play, 26-24.
“We were ahead by as much as seven in the second set and lost control,” Ferin reported. “That rattled us going forward, they were competitive sets, we just couldn’t put two or three points together in a row.”
The Bobcats took the final two games, 25-17 and 25-18 to retire Solon for the year with a record of 15-21.
Benton Community advanced to a semifinal at Davenport Assumption Oct. 29.
“It was a tough loss, our players went down fighting, we had a lot of swings and a lot of digs,” Ferin said. “Our hustle was fantastic, we had a lot of scramble plays and that gave us a lot of energy.”
Senior Katie Yi led the offense with 12 kills, with freshman Delaney Bombei adding 10. Sophomore Maddie Manifold had eight kills, and senior Jane Willms seven.
Freshman Kylee Flynn had 25 assists and senior Khaylor Fleck led the team with 39 digs. Junior Peyton Moore added 22 assists, 11 digs and was 13-14 at the service stripe. The team as a whole was 78-84 from the service line with Fleck (14-15) and Flynn (12-14) keeping the offense moving.
Yi had seven blocks to lead the team, while Willms added four.
“The future of Solon volleyball is very bright. We return many players and have good depth to fill in what we do lose,” Ferin observed. “After the loss, the first question they asked was ‘When do open gyms start?’ That’s what we want to hear– already looking forward to next season.
“I’m proud of the work we did this season, a few less injuries and it may have been a different outcome,” she continued. “This group cares deeply about each other on and off the court. We had a lot of fun, made a lot of memories and will miss our six seniors dearly.”