Another three-game sweep Oct. 1 at Solon gave the Beckman volleyball team a 30-3 overall record and the top of the WaMaC East Conference race (5-0). The Blazers won easily, 25-12, 25-14, 25-18.
Coach Todd Troutman explained, “We did a very nice job of coming out focused and on top of our game. We passed the ball well and into a nice rhythm on offense. We seemed to lose focus a bit in games two and three and seemed just a little off. It took us a while to pull away in each of the last two games, but we took care of business and got out of there with a win.”
Individual stats include: serving — Makayla Koelker 14-of-14, Jada Wills 11-of-11, Paige McDermott 12-of-13, Ashley Engelken 12-of-14, Olivia Hogan 7-of-7, Nell McDermott 6-of-6, Kiersten Schmitt 5-of-6; aces — Wills two, Engelken and Nell McDermott one; kills — Wills 15, Schmitt eight, Chloe Ungs and Paige McDermott five, Kylee Rueber two; blocks — Rueber three, Wills and Paige McDermott two, Ungs and Schmitt one; digs — Hogan 23, Wills 11, Ungs seven, Paige McDermott six, Schmitt five, Engelken and Koelker four; assists — Koelker 16, Schmitt 15, Wills and Hogan one.
The Blazers ended runners-up to Waverly Shell Rock at their tournament Oct. 6, and took out two top-ranked teams on the way. They knocked off No. 4 — 3A Union (22-20, 21-19), and No. 2 — 2A Osage (14-21, 12-19, 15-11) as well as unranked Crestwood (21-7, 22-24, 15-9) and Clinton (25-21, 25-22). The Blazers fell in pool play to Denver (21-16, 22-20) and matched No. 6 —4A Waverly-Shell Rock in the title game before falling, 25-21, 25-17.
Troutman said, “Our first two matches were real struggles. We dominated Crestwood in the first game and I don’t know if that made us think the match was over, but we really seemed to be going through the motions in game two, ended up losing it. We did come back and win game three. In the second pool match, Crestwood defeated Denver and again, I don’ t know if that made us think it would be an easy match with them, but we never got on track in either game. It was disappointing to see our lack of focus and our body language on the court.
“With all three (pool) teams having records of 1-1, it came down to a tie-breaker and we ended up third. That put us into an afternoon pool with Osage and Union. That was a pretty tall task but to the girls credit, they totally turned themselves around and came out against Osage and played a great match. We had great focus and played every point with intensity, coming out with a tough 2-1 victory. We played Union right after that and again showed a ton of determination, ending up with a 2-0 victory. That put us in the Gold bracket for the tournament play.
“We ended up having to sit for about two hours before our first tournament match and came out a little sluggish, but we played well enough to earn a 2-0 victory. That put us in the championship match against the host school Waverly-Shell Rock. I thought we played at a very high level throughout the match and did a lot of good things. To their credit, Waverly matched us play for play and just didn’t make any errors to allow us to get on any kind of run. In the end, they made just enough more plays than we did to come away with the 2-0 win.”
Individual total stats for the tourney include: serving — Hogan 34-of-34, Koelker 47-of-49, Paige McDermott 46-of-48, Nell McDermott 45-of-49, Kiersten Schmitt 32-of-38, Wills 31-of-40; aces — Wills and Paige McDermott six, Koelker, Nell McDermott and Kiersten Schmitt two; kills — Wills 54, Paige McDermott 28, Kiersten Schmitt 26, Ungs 11, Rueber six, Keeley Schmitt two, LeGrand one; blocks — Paige McDermott 13, Rueber 12, Kiersten Schmitt seven, Wills six, Keeley Schmitt three, Ungs two; digs — Hogan 35, Engelken 33, Wills 26, Kiersten Schmitt 10, Nell and Paige McDermott six, Koelker two; assists — Kiersten Schmitt 60, Koelker 55, Hogan two, Paige McDermott one.
The Blazers are now at 34-5 on the season.