Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT — It was no cake walk, but the Mt. Pleasant volleyball team had a perfect record at Day 1 of the Southeast Conference tournament. And Ralyn Seburg got a record of her own.
The defending champions had to battle in all three matches, but the Panthers outlasted three conference rivals, beating Burlington in three sets and sweeping both Fort Madison and Washington.
“It feels good,” said Mt. Pleasant head coach David Streeter. “The girls battled.”
It certainly wasn’t easy. Mt. Pleasant played with their backs against the wall from the get-go in the first round of the two-day round-robin tournament, as Burlington stole the opening set 25-15. The Panthers battled back to win 25-17 in the second set and 15-8 in the deciding third.
“We came out a little slow in the first game, but they picked it up,” Streeter said. “We got a lot of hustle plays.”
Mt. Pleasant knocked off Fort Madison 25-17, 25-14. The Panthers outlasted Washington 25-22, 25-16.
Mt. Pleasant senior setter Ralyn Seberg reached a career milestone in the tournament. Seberg reached 1,000 career assists with just one week left in the regular season.
“Starting my senior year I knew I was close,” Seberg said. “And I knew I could get to it.”
Fairfield and Washington went the distance for the second time in eight days. Just one week after the Demons beat the Trojans in five sets in Washington, Fairfield got its revenge with a three-set win, taking it 25-19, 23-25, 15-7.
The Trojans opened the day with a 25-12, 25-17 loss to Fort Madison. Fairfield ended it with a loss to Keokuk, dropping games 25-13 and 25-19.
“Our conference is really tough this year,” said Fairfield head coach Diana Drish. “Every match is a battle.”
Keokuk could have had a 3-0 day of its own if it wasn’t for Washington. The Demons won a thriller over the Chiefs, beating Keokuk 14-25, 25-23, 25-23 in their first matchup of the day.
“We made every match a dogfight,” said Washington head coach Aaron Six. “We came in and I think opened some eyes as far as where we have improved at this point.”
All six teams will be in Fairfield next Tuesday to finish the tournament. Mt. Pleasant will take on Keokuk and Fairfield. The Trojans will play Burlington along with the Panthers, and Washington will face off with Burlington and Fort Madison.
SEC TOURNAMENT STANDINGS AFTER DAY 1
1. Mt. Pleasant 3-0
2. Keokuk 2-1
3. Fort Madison 1-1
4. Fairfield 1-2
5. Washington 1-2
6. Burlington 0-2