A trip to Maquoketa Sept. 5 began Beckman’s WaMaC Conference volleyball campaign with a win over the Cardinals in three games.
The Blazers took them 25-18, 25-13, 25-14, adding three more game wins to their season mark.
Coach Todd Troutman was pleased with the night’s work. “We had a very nice night to open our conference season against a much-improved Maquoketa team. They really forced us to play at a high level and the girls responded well. Our passing was inconsistent but when we did pass well our offense was very efficient.”
Beckman’s leaders were: serving — Paige McDermott 22-of-23, Jada Wills 17-of-17, Makayla Koelker 13-of-14, Ashley Engelken 7-of-7, Leah Wessels and Nell McDermott 5-of-5, Olivia Hogan 1-of-2; aces — Paige McDermott four, Wills two, Koelker one; kills — Wills 18, Chloe Ungs six, Kylee Rueber and Kiersten Schmitt three, Paige McDermott two, Keeley Schmitt one; blocks — Rueber six, Kiersten Schmitt four, Keeley Schmitt three, Paige McDermott one; digs — Hogan 17, Engelken and Wills 12,Koelker nine, Wessels seven, Paige McDermott five, Keeley Schmitt and Nell McDermott one; assists — Wessels 15, Koelker 10, Hogan, Paige McDermott and Kiersten Schmitt one.
Sept. 7 Beckman traveled to the Mount Vernon Tournament and went 4-2. The Blazers topped North Cedar, 21-19, 21-15, and Regina, 21-14, 21-12, but fell to Waverly Shell Rock, 21-17, 6-21, 7-15, and Tipton, 19-21, 21-13, 15-17, in pool play before reaching the tournament round and beating North Cedar again, 25-13, 25-13, and Waterloo Columbus, 25-17, 25-13.
According to Troutman, “This was a tournament loaded with ranked teams and traditional state caliber programs. Going into the day, Wahlert was No. 1 in 4A, Mount Vernon No. 1 in 3A, Tipton No. 2 in 3A and Waverly No. 7 in 4A.
“We started the day in a pool with North Cedar and Waverly. We defeated North Cedar, 2-0, but did not play well at all. Our tough serving really saved us as we struggled to get any offensive flow going.
“In our second match with Waverly, we came out very strong in game one. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get anything going against them in games two and three and they raised their level of play to win.
“That put us in a pool with Regina and Tipton. We controlled the Regina match fairly well all the way through but were still not as efficient with our offense as we would have liked. Our Tipton match was by far our best volleyball of the year. We came out and took control of game one with smart, aggressive play. Unfortunately, we got stuck in a rotation where we struggled to get good aggressive swings and Tipton was able to take game one 21-19. Game two we continued to play at a high level and pulled away for the win. Game three was a one-or-two-point game throughout and was highlighted by great plays from both teams. We just came out on the short end of a 17-15 game. That put Tipton in the Gold bracket where they defeated Wahlert in the semis and lost to Waverly in the finals.
“We went to the Silver bracket and defeated North Cedar again and Columbus in the finals. On the positive side, the only teams we lost to were the two teams in the finals and we were the only team all day to take a game from eventual champion Waverly. We must get more consistent with our offense to allow us to close out close games and prevent other teams from having the three-four point runs that are difficult to overcome.”
Total individual stats include: serving — Engelken 51-of-56, Wills 46-of-48, Paige McDermott 44-of-46, Koelker 33-of-34, Nell McDermott 28-of-33, Wessels 24-of-24, Kiersten Schmitt 2-of-2; aces — Wills 12, Nell McDermott six, Engelken and Wessels three, Koelker and Paige McDermott two; kills — Wills 43, Schmitt 23, Paige McDermott 11, Ungs nine, Rueber six; blocks — Schmitt seven, Paige McDermott six, Wills and Ungs three; digs — Hogan 28, Engelken 23, Wills 12, Paige McDermott nine, Wessels eight, Koelker six, Nell McDermott and Haley LeGrand one; assists — Wessels 50, Koelker 38, Schmitt six.