If Moline is to have a great season, it will need good play from more than just its stars.
It got just that Thursday night at Wharton Field House, especially from senior Lacey McMillion and the ever-active Bella Mitchell in a 25-10, 25-21 win over Rock Island.
McMillion was plenty strong along the net with seven kills, while Mitchell kept the ball alive many a time with 16 assists as well as three aces.
“Those kids did some good things,” said Moline coach Mike Ducey, whose Maroons (9-3, 1-1) jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the opener but struggled somewhat in the second game. “It was kind of a tale of two teams where when things are going well and we are playing clean, we have a lot of potential.”
Moline also got eight assists and three aces from junior Kayla DePoorter, plus 10 digs from Maddie Peterson. Senior leader Molly Tauke contributed six kills and five digs Thursday. But the Maroons had 12 unforced errors in the second game, leaving Ducey somewhat perplexed.
“We are just at a pivotal point,” he said. “Our team has to make a choice. Do we want to play volleyball or head games with ourselves? We need to make sure we are focusing on the things we can control."
McMillion liked the overall team effort, which was needed in some long volleys.
“I feel like as a team, Moline always plays our best when we play Rocky because they are our biggest rival,” she said. “The second game they did way better than the first game but we always expect that when they lose by a lot in the first game.”
Mitchell, a transfer from Geneseo, did not think it was her best game thus far.
“I think I can play a whole lot better,” she said.
For the Rocks (2-9, 0-1) and coach Kelly Young, there was definite improvement in the second game.
“They served really well,” Young said of the Maroons. “(Mitchell) served really, really well. All of them served really well. I think that caught us off-guard.
“I am proud of how we came back in the second set. Moline brings something out of us. We struggled with confidence at the beginning of the season. I think they started to believe what they can do.”