The Bobcats celebrate after receiving their Class 4A State Championship trophy.

The only goal the Bobcats from Western Dubuque was concerned about this season was ending the year holding the Class 4A State Volleyball championship trophy high over their heads as they celebrated with their fans.

They accomplished that feat by taking the court at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids with the same attitude and confidence they had played with all season as well as the determination that they would not be beaten.

“When we lost in the finals in 2019, these girls came together and said they were going to win a state championship before they graduated. The work these girls put into this year during practice and outside of practice is unbelievable. Most nights, I had to kick them out of the gym, they just never wanted to quit,” said Megan Scherrman, eighth-year head coach. “This group of girls was so great to be around. Their personalities, their work ethics, their love of the game, the way they got along, made everything about this season so enjoyable. This group of girls wanted to practice, they wanted to get better, they wanted to win and they wanted to do it together. They didn’t care who got the glory, they were always happy for each other’s success, it was really something special.”

The Bobcats started the season a bit slow as they lost three of their first 10 matches, but all were to state championship-caliber teams. The Bobcats fell to Cedar Falls (3-1) and Iowa City Liberty (3-1) in two Mississippi Valley Conference battles and were beaten by Dike-New Hartford (2-0) at the Shirley Ryan Invitational in Mount Vernon. All of those losses came in the first 21 days of the season. After that, the Bobcats went on a 27-match winning streak that is still going on.

It took a total team effort by the Bobcats to earn their first-ever state volleyball title. Starting seniors Meredith Bahl, Maddie Harris, Anna Kluesner and Madison Maahs along with juniors Libby Lansing and Ella Meyer saw most of the court time during the season, but it was when Hailey Wulfekuhle (sophomore), Franny Heiberger (junior) and Emma Kapler (senior) started to contribute that this team really started to take off.

“The biggest thing I saw throughout the season is their confidence grew. I knew we were a good team and I wanted them to step out on the court and know that too. I wanted them not afraid to take risks and not scared to be aggressive,” said Scherrman. “By the end of the season, they were doing just that. They took offense to being beat and that is where our 27-game winning streak came into play. These girls were not going to get beaten and their confidence was a big factor in that.”

This group has accomplished a lot over the past three seasons as they punched their ticket to play in the elite eight even though they had a huge target on their backs the entire time. Because of their ability to play with each other and trust each other, they finished the year as not only the team that wouldn’t be beaten, but as the team that couldn’t be beaten largely because of the won’t lose attitude of the seven seniors on the roster.

“These seniors mean so much to me, not only as players but as people. They have been on varsity since they were freshmen, so I have had them now for four years. The bond that we have formed is something I will never forget. These seniors set the bar for WDVB. They showed that hard work really does pay off,” said Scherrman. “They have a younger group of players that have looked up to them every step of the way. They have done something really special for this volleyball program.”

WD’s stat leaders: kills — Bahl 438, Harris 361, Lansing 236, Maahs 102, Kluesner 66, Heiberger 33, Wulfekuhle 16; assists — Maahs 1081, Meyer 21, Ava Demmer 16; digs — Meyer 474, Bahl 320, Ulrichs 314, Harris 259, Maahs 212, Emma Kapler 59; blocks — Lansing 89, Maahs 36, Harris 33, Bahl 31, Kluesner 27, Wulfekuhle 11; serves — Harris 415-of-435 (95.4%), Bahl 278-of-294 (94.6%), Kapler 313-of-334 (93.7%), Ulrichs 366-of-396 (93.1%), Maahs 281-of-317 (88.6%), Meyer 243-of-284 (85.6%); aces — Harris 41, Ulrichs 38, Maahs 29, Bahl 26, Kapler 24, Meyer 23.