ICYMI: Arch commits to NIU, Knuffman wins playoff, Clay hits grand slam and QU makes history

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Palmyra wrestler Collin Arch, a three-time defending state champion who is undefeated in his high school career, verbally committed to Northern Illinois University and announced his decision via Twitter on Saturday. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The first full weekend of the fall sports season was filled with highlights — from verbal commitments to grand slams, from playoff victories to historic sweeps.

Here is a look at what made us take notice …

• Wrestling has always been a family affair for the Arches. It will continue to be that way when Palmyra senior Collin Arch heads off to college. A three-time state champion who is undefeated in his high school career, Arch announced via Twitter on Saturday he had verbally committed to wrestle at Northern Illinois University. Arch’s older brother, Ross, is currently a redshirt freshman with the Huskies. 

Arch has the chance to become the third wrestler in Missouri State High School Activities Association history to finish his prep wrestling career undefeated with four state championships. Keep your eye on that come February.

• The Highland softball team established itself as a team to contend with in Class 2 in Northeast Missouri after a strong showing in the Troy Tournament. The Cougars went 3-1, finishing as the runner-up, and beat three teams competing in larger classifications. Highland knocked off Francis Howell Central 3-1, outlasted Wentzville Timberland 10-8 and upended Fulton 4-3. Troy won the title, beating Highland 5-1 in the championship game.

The Cougars’ Payton Miller won twice and earned a save in the other victory, throwing 14.2 innings with three earned runs allowed and 10 strikeouts. Haleigh Winter jacked a two-run home run in the tournament-opening victory over Francis Howell Central.

• Quincy Notre Dame senior Hana Knuffman took medalist honors at the Rochester Rocket Invite on Saturday at Lincoln Greens Golf Course in Springfield. Knuffman won a one-hole playoff against Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin’s Addi Eades. Both golfers shot 4-over 76, which was a career best for Knuffman. The Raiders took fourth as a team in a field with a mix of Class 1A and 2A programs.

• The Quincy University women’s volleyball team opened its season in record-setting fashion. The Hawks won four consecutive matches at the Reddie-Tiger Invitational, hosted by Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark., in overwhelming fashion. QU didn’t lose a set, marking the first time in program history the program has opened a season with four consecutive sweeps.

• Canton senior shortstop Nariah Clay did something in Saturday’s 12-0 victory over Mark Twain she hadn’t done in her high school career. She blasted a left-handed grand slam. Clay’s grand run around the bases came during a 10-run inning that allowed Canton to post a five-inning victory in its season opener.

Canton senior Nariah Clay shows off the ball she hit for her first left-handed grand slam during Saturday’s 12-0 victory over Mark Twain.| Submitted photo

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