Almost before the last notes of the National Anthem had died, the Beckman volleyball team had built an 8-0 lead on the Bellevue Comets in their three-game Region 7 Quarterfinal win, Oct. 21, at Beckman.
The Blazers eased to a 25-5, 25-18, 25-10 win to advance to the next round of post-season play, Oct. 26 against Hudson at Beckman.
Those first eight points came on Makayla Koelker’s service and included two aces, a Jadyn Welling kill and a host of Comet mistakes. That scenario didn’t change much. The Blazers built a 17-2 lead on Olivia Hogan’s time at the service line, taking advantage of three Kiersten Schmitt and Kylee Rueber kills, then got the last five straight points that used double blocks from Lauren Osterhaus and Jenna Lansing to begin and end the five, 25-5.
A different Bellevue team took the floor in the second game. They actually held a lead, 7-3, after a series of Blazer mistakes. Osterhaus put an end to that series with a kill and the difference was 8-6 Comets. When Osterhaus took serve, the lead for the Blue team was 9-7, quickly destroyed with kills from Lansing and Jami Kruse to make it 10-9 Blazers. Bellevue came back again, getting points from a Blazer block that fell down, a call in the net and a kill attempt that went long to lead 12-10.
But when the Comets hit long, it began a series of five straight that put the Blazers up 15-12. The teams were knotted at 16, then again at 18, when the Blazers came back to the strengths they are used to having, namely kills and taking advantage of mistakes on the other side of the net. They scored the final seven straight points to win 25-18.
In game three, the early going continued the point-for-point match of game two, until the Blazers led 8-5 and built that to11-7. That’s when Hogan took service again and delivered the next 12 straight points, getting kills from Kamryn Klas and Lansing to join a bevy of Bellevue mistakes. A Bellevue timeout broke that run when Hogan hit the net on her next serve. But the damage had been done and the most the Comets could find were three more points. The game ended on a multi-hit call on them.
“We came out very focused at the start of the match,” said coach Todd Troutman. “Bellevue struggled to pass and run much of an offense and we were able to convert every free ball they sent over for an easy game one win. Unfortunately, we did not maintain our focus and intensity in game two and made a lot of errors. Bellevue picked up their level of play and we were just going through the motions.
“It was good to see us come back out in game three and take control early.
Monday night’s match against Hudson will be a real battle between two top 10 teams and we will need to bring our best.”
Beckman’s leders were: serving — Koelker 13-of-13, hogan 14-of-16, Nell McDermott and Schmitt 11-of-11, Osterhaus 10-of-10, Welling 9-of-9, Leah Wessels 1-of-1; aces — Koelker five; kills— Schmitt 14, Lansing nine, Klas six, Rueber five, Osterhaus three, Kruse and Amber Scherbring one; blocks — Lansing four, Osterhaus three; digs — Hogan 19, Welling nine, McDermott five, Koelker four, Osterhaus and Schmitt three, Sydnie Reitzler two, Lansing one; assists — Koelker 22, Schmitt 13, Hogan four.