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Kiersten Schmitt blasts the ball past two blockers for a kill in game three of Beckman’s rivalry battle with Western Dubuque.

Missed serves forced the Beckman volleyball team to a five-set match with Mount Vernon at home, Sept. 21, but in the end, the Blazers prevailed to claim the top of the WaMaC East standings (3-0).

Game scores were 25-15, 25-27, 25-19, 22-25, 15-11. The loss puts Mount Vernon in a three-way tie for second with West Delaware and Marion (2-1). Only Class 3A’s No. 1-ranked West Delaware remains in the path of the Blazers’ quest for the East title, a showdown slated for Oct. 5 at Beckman.

But back to those serving misses from a team that’s been close to perfect for the season. They were scattered throughout the games and seemed to come at crucial points.

Both teams missed in the early going of the first game until a Jenna Lansing kill gave the Blazers side out and a 9-8 lead. Kam Klas served two aces around a Kiersten Schmitt kill and a ball out to put the team up 13-8, upped to 14-8 on a Mustangs’ net call.

But then a serve into the net stopped that run. Mount Vernon answered the gift with one of their own and a block from Klas and Shelby Pirc gave the Blazers a 16-9 advantage. Lansing’s missed serve handed the Mustangs 10, but Schmitt got two kills and Olivia Hogan an ace for a 19-10 lead, one they maintained to the end of the game.

In game two, they rebuilt a lead again, up 20-16 after trailing 13-16, until matched missed serves again stopped the action, 21-17. They were up 24-18 when a tip kill from Mustang Vail Telecky began a seven-point run for a Mustang 25-24 lead. Klas tied it with a kill but then served into the net and a called double hit on the Blazers ended the game with the loss.

The Blazers slowly built a lead in game three, then increased it on Schmitt’s service after Lauren Osterhaus ended a long volley with a kill to the right. Up 16-10, they kept most of that lead to the end, though the Mustangs trimmed it to three, 20-17, before Hogan’s service took them to 24-17.

It was the Mustangs’ turn in game four, building a lead they held until the Blazers knotted it at 15. But a block out of bounds put the ball back in Mount Vernon’s court and they upped the lead to 18-15. The Blazers cut that to two three times before the Mustangs finally ended things on a contested block out of bounds.

Game five began with two Mustang mistakes, but the Blazers matched that with three of their own and the game was tied at 4-4. A kill from Brooke Ellyson put the Mustangs up 6-5 but Osterhaus’ kill began her own service with back-to-back aces and made it 8-6. Two Pirc kills added to the margin 10-6 and the Blazers never trailed again.

Coach Todd Troutman was pleased with his team’s effort. “This was a great game versus a very good team. We had a tough night serving and didn’t close out game two the way we should have but we showed a great deal of fight in taking game five.”

Individual stats included: serving — Schmitt 22-of-23, Leah Wessels 13-of-14, Osterhaus 13-of-15, Hogan 15-of-18, Klas 13-of-18, Lansing 9-of-16; aces — Schmitt three, Osterhaus and Klas two, Lansing and Hogan one; kills — Schmitt 30, Lansing 14, Klas eight, Pirc six, Osterhaus four, Wessels one; blocks — Schmitt, Osterhaus, Wessels, Pirc two, Klas and Lansing one; digs — Hogan 34, Klas 22, Schmitt 18, Wessels and Reese Osterhaus 13, Lauren Osterhaus 11, Lansing two; assists – Wessels 56, Hogan three, Schmitt, Klas and Lauren Osterhaus one.

At the Denver Tournament Sept. 25, the Blazers began with an easy win over Starmont, 21-17, 21-17 and then fell to Sumner-Fredericksburg, 21-16, 11-21, 10-15, and Denver 12-21, 13-21 before rebounding with wins against Tripoli 21-9, 21-13 and Maquoketa Valley 21-7, 21-6.

Troutman talked about the day. “We beat the teams we were supposed to beat but once again, gave away a match to a very good Sumner-Fredericksburg team and never really competed against Denver. We need to find a way out of this little funk we are in.”

Due to Internet problems, only their stats for the Starmont game are available: serving — Schmitt and Wessels 7-of-7, Lansing 8-of-9, Lauren Osterhaus 5-of-6, Klas and Hogan 4-of-6; aces — Lauren Osterhaus two, Schmitt, Klas and Lansing one; kills – Schmitt 11, Klas seven, Lansing four, Lauren Osterhaus three, Wessels two, Pirc one; blocks — Klas and Pirc one; digs — Hogan 10, Schmitt and Reece Osterhaus four, Lansing one; assists — Wessels 26.