Big wins keep coming for this young Western Dubuque volleyball team as the Bobcats went 4-2 last week while improving to 10-10 for the season. They earned a second-place finish in their own Bobcat Invitational in Epworth Oct. 5.
Seeing their first tournament action in three weeks, the Bobcats proved they are close to being ready for the postseason by going 2-1 in pool play, including a huge victory over Tipton, the third-ranked team in Class 3A. The host team defeated the Tigers, 2-1 (16-21, 21-19, 16-14) and took care of Decorah, 2-0 (21-13, 21-9), but dropped a tough three-set match with West Branch, ranked 14th in Class 2A (15-21, 21-17, 19-17).
Moving out of pool play, the Bobcats drew West Liberty and did what they do against highly ranked teams, upsetting the second-ranked team in Class 3A, 2-1 (25-21, 20-25, 15-5).
The fun for the day stopped in the championship match of the tournament as the Bobcats ran out of steam and were beaten 2-0 (25-20, 25-18) by Pleasant Valley, the fifth-ranked team in Class 5A.
The Bobcats are now 10-10 for the year with six of those wins coming against ranked opponents.
Earlier in the week, the Bobcats moved to 3-3 in the Mississippi Division of the Mississippi Valley Conference after they blasted their way to a three-game sweep of Cedar Rapids Prairie (25-21, 25-14, 25-16) to remain in the race for third place with Iowa City who is 3-2 in conference play.
“All these wins are good for us. Right now we’re playing for third place in the conference and that’s a big deal when you’ve got Cedar Falls, the No. 1 team in Class 5A, and Cedar Rapids Xavier, the No. 2 team in Class 4A, in your conference,” said Megan Scherrman, head coach of the Bobcats. “We’re focusing on play on our side of the net. We’re going to continue to do that this month and as we go into the postseason. We’re working on getting better every day and I’m continuing to see that improvement.”
The Bobcats played hard and with a lot of energy in their sweep over Prairie. The power trio of the Bobcats’ front line accounted for 25 kills with Meredith Bahl leading the way with 10 kills. Meg Besler added eight kills and Maddie Harris seven. Madison Maahs dished out 29 assists and Ella Meyer had 14 digs as she was the star on the defensive side of the net.
“(Ella Meyer) did a really good job (against Prairie). She was all over the place and I believe that makes a big difference when you can trust that your libero is going to pick up balls so everybody else can focus on something different,” said Scherrman. “We talk about feeding off of somebody else’s play. To play so hard that you help out a teammate and allow for them to focus on something else. Ella did that for us as she was flying all over the court.”
Bobcats’ leaders for the week: kills — Bahl 35, Harris 31, Besler 21, Elgin 20, Maahs seven; assists — Maahs 136; digs – Meyer 57, Harris 32, Claire Horsfield 24, Maahs 22, Bahl 21; blocks — Elgin 13, Besler nine, Lansing seven, Bahl five; serves — Meyer 59-of-62, Maahs 51-of-55, Elgin 35-of-39, Horsfield 40-of-45, Bahl 49-of-56, Harris 40-of-48; aces — Bahl six, Maahs and Meyer three, Elgin, Harris and Horsfield two.