When Wapsie Valley avenged a five-game loss from last year in the regional final Oct. 26, the Warriors conveniently ended Beckman Catholic’s volleyball season a game short of one of state.
“As I told my athletes,” said coach Todd Troutman, “I thought this team probably improved more from the start of the season to the end of the season than any other team I have coached.
“The girls were definitely playing their best volleyball from the last week of the regular season, through the conference tournament and into regional play, which is exactly what you want. They gave themselves the opportunity to play for a chance at the state tournament and, although we fell short of that, it was probably further than most people would have thought we would have gotten.
“The other thing I think of when I reflect on the season was how many different players stepped up and contributed throughout the year. We played more kids at numerous positions throughout the season, as we worked to find the lineup that worked the best, than I ever have before. The girls did everything we asked of them and responded to every new role they were asked to play on the team.
“I contribute much of the success of this team to the leadership of our seniors. Jenna (Lansing) and Shelby (Pirc) had pretty substantial roles on last year’s team, but Shea (Steffen), Mia (Maiers), Elisabeth (Kerper) and Tessa (Tauke) really didn’t. They grew into their roles and helped the juniors and sophomores come together and solidify what turned out to be a very good team.”
Lansing, as expected, far surpassed the team in kills, with 302 and was second only to Pirc (203 kills) in blocks with 39 (Pirc had 54). The two anchored the front row but were not shabby at the service line either, with Pirc amassing a 93.8% (197-of-210) and Lansing 86.3% (290-of-336), top in aces (61). Steffen was the floor general and tallied 809 assists on the year, was third in digs (163), served at a team-leading 95.1% (353-of-371) with 35 aces. Maiers developed into a solid hitter (117 kills, fifth on the team) despite being shorter than most front row players. Kerper joined the front row midway through the season and produced several game-deciding kills. Tauke was a role player for the team.
The cupboard is not empty for the Blazers, though they will need a strong rebuilding year. Junior Reese Osterhaus was near the top in most categories, soph Alli Scherbring became a go-to front row player, soph Alexie Hogan led the team in digs from her libero role (392) and several sophomores saw key match time.
Beckman’s statistical leaders were: serving — Steffen 353-of-371, Pirc 197-of-212, Lansing 290-of-336, Osterhaus 272-of-295, Hogan 232-of-254, Maiers 215-of-253, Emma Karcher 86-of-93, Kerper 29-of-33, Nicole Goedken 31-of-34, Maddie Schmitz 5-of-6, Anna Knepper 3-of-4; aces — Lansing 61, Steffen 35, Maiers 27, Pirc 24, Osterhaus 21, Hogan 19, Karcher seven, Goedken three; kills — Lansing 302, Pirc 203, Scherbring 159, Osterhaus 129, Maiers 117, Kerper 60, Steffen 38, Katelyn Schmitt four, Hogan three, Karcher two, Schmitz one; blocks — Scherbring 63, Pirc 54, Lansing 35, Osterhaus 23, Steffen 21, Kerper 15, Maiers eight, Goedken two, Schmitt one; digs — Hogan 392, Osterhaus 223, Steffen 163, Lansing 131, Goedken 85, Karcher 78, Maiers 57, Schmitz 34, Pirc 29, Kerper 28, Scherbring 16, Anna Knepper three; assists — Steffen 809, Hogan 47, Lansing 19, Osterhaus 13, Karcher and Knepper 10, Pirc nine, Maiers six, Schmitz five, Scherbring four, Goedken one.