With victories over Maquoketa, Oelwein and Solon, the Beckman volleyball team moved to 15-1 on the season and ninth in the latest IGHSAU rankings.

The Oelwein and Solon wins came during a quick triangular at Beckman Sept. 9. They eased by both teams, Oelwein, 25-12, 25-5, and Solon, 25-9, 25-16, in a best of three format because of the triangular scheduling.

Overpowering both teams, the Solon game was typical of the night. Beginning at 6:40, the two games were complete by 7:15. The Blazers built a 9-1 lead to start, taking advantage of three Kiersten Schmitt kills and aces from both Jenna Lansing and Olivia Hogan, the first two of four in that game, three in the second. The lead grew to 11-2, then 16-4 and the Spartans were never in it.

In game two, they showed some life, taking the first point and edging to a 4-3 lead on a kill from Camryn Keith. The Blazers re-took the lead and the teams shared it, changing the lead seven different times before the Blazers finally got a Schmitt kill and ace to go up by two, 16-14. When she served too far, it was 16-15, but the Blazers never trailed again, rebuilding it to 19-15 on kills from Kam Klas and Lansing and a Lansing/Lauren Osterhaus block. Delaney Bombei got one to go down to give Solon their final point but the Blazers controlled the end of the game, with Osterhaus’ kill beginning a run of six straight to close it out. On her serve, they got kills from Lansing, Shelby Pirc and the game-winner from Klas, as well as an ace and combined Pirc/Lansing block.

Coach Todd Troutman termed it “our best night of passing and serving. The kids were serving extremely aggressively and hitting their spots which caused both Oelwein and Solon to struggle to reach a consistent offense. We pretty much controlled the Oelwein match from start to finish, never letting them get much going. They have struggled at put winning seasons together but I am impressed with how positive their coach stays.

“We played really well against a young Solon team, forcing errors in the first game to run away with it. They really upped their level of play in the second. It was a side-out game up to about 13 or 14 but our constant pressure allowed us to pull away. It was good to see us not panic and just keep doing the things necessary to get a couple of serving runs for the victory.”

Individual stats for both games: serving — Leah Wessels 22-of-22, Lansing 19-of-19, Hogan 18-of-18, Lauren Osterhaus 9-of-11, Reese Osterhaus 6-of-6, Klas 8-of-10, Schmitt 6-of-7; aces — Hogan six, Wessels three, Lansing and Schmitt two, Klas, Lauren and Reese Osterhaus one; kills — Klas 12, Schmitt nine, Lansing eight, Lauren Osterhaus six, Jami Kruse five, Pirc three, Wessels one; blocks — Lauren Osterhaus, Klas, Wessels, Pirc, Lansing two, Schmitt one; digs — Hogan 19, Klas 11, Schmitt nine, Wessels six, Lansing and Reese Osterhaus two, Lauren Osterhaus and Pirc one; assists — Wessels 39, Hogan two, Lauren Osterhaus one.

Against Maquoketa there Sept. 7, the wins were just as easy, 25-17, 25-14, 25-15.

Troutman added, “We played a very efficient match. Our passing and serving game was on point which allowed us to run a nice offense. The highlight of the night was Olivia’s 1000th dig of her career, which came on the very first point of the first game. We took a timeout to allow our fans to show their appreciation for her outstanding achievement.”

Beckman’s leaders were: serving — Wessels 15-of-15, Hogan 12-of-13, Schmitt and Lauren Osterhaus 10-of-11, Lansing 8-of-11; aces – Lauren Osterhaus, Schmitt, Wessels and Hogan three, Lansing two; kills – Schmitt 18, Lauren Osterhaus and Lansing six, Kruse five, Pirc two; blocks – Lansing two, Lauren Osterhaus and Pirc one; digs – Hogan 12, Schmitt nine, Pirc, Wessels and Lauren Osterhaus four, Lansing and Reese Osterhaus three, Shea Steffen two, Kruse one; assists – Wessels 32.

At the tough Iowa City West Tournament Saturday, the Blazers faced the type of competition they expected to see there. They opened with a 21-18, 21-13 1oss to Ankeny (16-1), topped Wahlert (2-7) 21-6, 22-20 then faced West Des Moines Dowling (10-6) for a three-game loss, 21-16, 18-21, 15-12, before dropping another three-game decision to Clear Creek-Amana (8-3), 25-23, 20-25, 15-11.

Troutman explained, “We started the day with the No. 1-ranked team in Class 5A and dropped a very close first game. They are obviously very talented with a lot of weapons but what impressed me the most was their outstanding defense. We were never able to get that serving run to allow us to get a lead. Game two was another good one but they pulled away a bit.

“We took control of the Wahlert games from the start. But in game two we started making some unforced errors and they raised their level of play enough to maintain a point or two lead throughout. We were able to do just enough to get the win.

“Our final pool play games were with Dowling, ranked No. 9 in 5A. Earlier in the pool, they had defeated Ankeny, 2-1. They have a very tall athletic team, as good as anyone we’ve seen all year. We probably played our best volleyball of the day in this match. We lost game one, took game two, but couldn’t quite get the third.

“Then we ended up sitting about two and a half hours before playing our first tournament-round game, against an excellent CCA, ranked No. 9 in 4A. We never looked in sync in this one, seemed a step slow reacting to every situation and making too many unforced errors.

“While it certainly isn’t anything to be ashamed of losing to three teams in the top 10 of Classes 4A and 5A, I just feel we gave away too many points off unforced mental and physical errors that we shouldn’t be giving away at this point in our season. We will have to regroup quickly because the schedule does not get any easier in the next two weeks.”

Beckman’s statistical leaders at the tournament were: serving — Schmitt and Wessels 33-of-33, Lansing 28-of-29, Lauren Osterhaus 20-of-20, Hogan 23-of-26, Klas 25-of-29; aces — Schmitt four, Klas three, Lansing and Hogan one; blocks — Lansing four, Pirc three, Lauren Osterhaus two, Schmitt and Wessels one; digs — Hogan 44, Schmitt 23, Klas 17, Wessels 14, Reese Osterhaus seven, Lansing three; assists — Wessels 75, Hogan one.