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Jada Wills slams down one of her match-high 15 kills to help Beckman beat Independence. See story on page 1B.

In their first volleyball tournament of the season, the Beckman girls claimed the championship of the Cascade Invitational Aug. 31.

The Blazers won their pool play contests, defeating Central City, 21-4, 21-9; North Linn, 21-7, 21-9; and Anamosa, 21-11, 17-21, 15-7.

In tournament play, the Blazers stopped Springville, 21-10, 21-8; to reach the semifinals against Waterloo East, winning, 21-15, 21-14. In the championship match, Beckman defeated Dubuque Senior, 21-6, 21-14.

Coach Todd Troutman was pleased with the tournament. “We did a great job most of the day with our serving. The girls hit their spots and made it tough for the other teams to get into their offense. Our passing was on point most of the day and when it was, I thought we ran our offense very well. All our hitters had moments when they were really clicking with our setters. We sent very few free balls over the net all day.

“The game we dropped to Anamosa was a combination of them playing very well and us kind of shooting ourselves in the foot a little. When you are playing two-out-of-three to 21, you can’t afford to give up any kind of runs. We gave up a couple to Anamosa and then we would miss a serve to prevent a run of our own. But the girls responded very well to dropping that game and really played well the rest of the afternoon.

“We are looking forward to opening WaMaC play Thursday at Maquoketa. We will conclude our week at the Mount Vernon Tournament next weekend and will face great competition all day.”

Beckman’s leaders were: serving — Paige McDermott 48-of-49, Ashley Engelken 36-of-39, Olivia Hogan 35-of-37, Jada Wills and Leah Wessels 34-of-35, Makayla Koelker 28-of-34, Kiersten Schmitt 5-of-7; aces — Engelken and McDermott seven, Wills four, Koelker and Hogan three, Wessels and Schmitt one; kills — Wills 44, Chloe Ungs 22, Kylee Rueber 21, Schmitt 16, McDermott 15, Haley LeGrand, Keeley Schmitt and Jadyn Welling two; digs — Hogan 18, Engelken 15, McDermott, Wills and Wessels nine, Koelker seven, Kiersten Schmitt six, Nell McDermott two; blocks — Kiersten Schmitt eight, Paige McDermott and Rueber six, Wills two, Keeley Schmitt one.