In WaMaC bracket play Oct. 15, the Beckman girls dropped their final match to their old nemesis Mount Vernon, 25-27, 19-25, after handing the Mustangs losses earlier in the conference schedule.
To reach the finals, the Blazers eased through pool play Oct. 12 at West Delaware, topping Center Point Urbana 21-14, 21-19 and Maquoketa 21-17, 22-20.
In their semifinal round of bracket play at Mount Vernon Oct. 15, the Blazers took two from West Delaware more easily than they did in Manchester last week, 25-17, 25-21, before facing off with Mount Vernon.
Coach Todd Troutman added, “We ended up going 2-0 in pool play but we were not at all pleased with our play. We played with no sense of urgency in either match and let the teams hang around longer than we should have.
“All six WaMaC East teams ended up in the championship bracket Thursday, which was no big surprise knowing how tough our side of the conference was this year. Taking first in our Pool Monday matched us with CCA in the first round since they finished second to West Delaware in their Pool. But just before noon Thursday, we received word that they would not be playing that night due to a Covid situation. That moved us to the semifinals against the Maquoketa-West Delaware winner.
“West Delaware looked really good in dominating a Maquoketa team that is much better than their record, so I was worried how we would respond with no “warm-up” match heading into the semi’s. We came out and really took control in game one, playing some of our best, most focused volleyball of the season. It was 180 degrees from Monday night. Game two was another classic back-and-forth BHS-WD match until we put a little gap on them to get to around 20-15. At that point, they chipped away a little bit but we remained composed and had some very big swings to put the game away.
“In the finals, we met Mount Vernon who had steamrolled Independence in their semifinal. Due to CCA not being there, our semifinal got done an hour before the other side of the bracket and, once again I was worried how the time off would affect our play. To their credit, the girls came out and played great volleyball. Game one was just a battle for every point and each team had a chance or two at game point, with Mount Vernon eventually getting the win.
“Game two, they jumped to an early five-point lead and we battled back to tie it at around 10-10. Once again it was a back and forth game to the end. Toward the end, we got out of system too much and had trouble finishing points. They ended up with the win, but I felt really good about the kind of volleyball we played all night. I know that if we take the lessons we learned this week and bring the same type of energy, teamwork and focus, we will have a nice post-season run.”
Total individual stats include: serving — Makayla Koelker 34-of-37, Lauren Osterhaus 31-of-34, Kiersten Schmitt 25-of-27, Jadyn Welling 23-of-25, Olivia Hogan 22-of-24, Nell McDermott 26-of-30; aces — Koelker five, Welling and McDermott three, Hogan two, Osterhaus one; blocks — Kylee Rueber seven, Lansing and Schmitt six, Osterhaus two; digs — Hogan 54, McDermott 25, Welling 20, Koelker 14, Schmitt and Osterhaus 10, Lansing and Jami Kruse four, Keeley Schmitt three, Rueber two; kills — Kiersten Schmitt 36, Osterhaus 17, Lansing 12, Rueber 11, Kruse nine, Welling and Keeley Schmitt three, McDermott one; assists — Koelker 47, Kiersten Schmitt 33, Hogan five, Keeley Schmitt and McDermott one.