The Western Dubuque volleyball team finished the regular season beating the Iowa City, City High Little Hawks in straight sets and then earned its second tournament title in as many weeks at Prairie in Cedar Rapids, Oct. 9.
The first order of business for the Bobcats in their final week of the regular season was to take care of the City High Little Hawks (14-11) and they posted their fifth three-set sweep of the year (25-16, 26-24, 25-20) in Iowa City Oct. 5. With the win, the Bobcats improved to 21-3 for the season and finished the Mississippi Valley Conference with a record of 5-2, good enough for third in the talent-filled Mississippi Division. The only two teams that finished above the Bobcats were the only two teams to beat them, first place Iowa City Liberty (7-0) and second-place Cedar Falls (6-1).
The Bobcats’ offense was led by Madison Maahs who dished 44 assists with Meredith Bahl coming through with a team-high 19 kills. Libby Lansing found the floor 12 times and Maddie Harris added 10. Bahl had 19 digs and Ella Meyer 18. The Bobcats had nine aces with Bahl hammering down four of them.
Next up was the Prairie Tournament that featured round-robin play. Like they have done for the past four weeks of the season, the Bobcats breezed through the other five teams to take the trophy in consecutive weeks, their third tournament title this season. The Bobcats beat Southeast Polk (21-7, 21-8), Prairie (21-16, 21-15), Johnston (21-13, 26-24), West Branch (21-12, 21-12) and Wilton (26-28, 21-19, 15-9), ranked second in Class 2A.
“We were down a couple of times this weekend, but it was good to see that the girls really kept their composure. From point one to point 25, they played the same ball if we were down six or up six,” said Megan Scherrman, head coach. “There wasn’t a lot of panic and there wasn’t a lot of fear, the girls just played their game.”
Not like anything the Bobcats are doing on the court is a secret right now, but they are riding the wave of an 18-match winning streak to finish the regular season at 25-3. However, they know the only winning streak that matters for them is the five-match streak they would need to end their season with their first state championship in program history.
“We’re playing good volleyball right now. I’m very happy with where we’re at, but we still have work to do,” said Scherrman. “We still have to come in every day and keep working hard. We’re still focused on making ourselves better on our side of the court. We’re not letting up by any means.”
One of the keys to Western Dubuque’s stellar season was getting contributions from everyone who stepped onto the court. They were able to do that because of the continued development of players like Anna Kluesner, Hailey Wulfekuhle, Franny Heiberger, Natalie Ulrichs and Emma Kapler who all took a step forward to help make this team better.
“Our goal going into the postseason is to make sure we can spread that ball around as much as we can,” said Schermann. “We have a quick offense and the more girls we can give the ball to the harder we are going to be to defend.”
WD’s leaders against City High were: kills — Bahl 19, Lansing 12, Harris 10, Maahs four, Kluesner three, Heiberger two; assists — Maahs 44; digs — Bahl 19, Meyer 18, Ulrichs 17, Harris 14, Maahs eight, Kapler two; blocks — Bahl and Lansing three, Kluesner and Maahs two, Harris one; serves — Ulrichs 9-of-9, Bahl 13-of-14, Kapler 11-of-12; aces — Bahl four, Harris and Meyer two, Maahs one.
WD’s leaders at Prairie Tourney were: kills — Harris 33, Bahl 32, Kluesner, Lansing and Maahs 11, Hailey Wulfekuhle five; assists — Maahs 86, Meyer six; digs — Meyer 39, Bahl 27, Harris and Maahs 19; Ulrichs 15, Kapler six, Kluesner and Wulfekuhle two; blocks — Lansing eight, Bahl and Maahs four, Harris three, Kluesner and Wulfekuhle two; serves — Ulrichs 20-of-20, Harris 36-of-37, Kapler 36-of-38, Bahl 27-of-29, Maahs 26-of-29; aces — Kapler five, Bahl and Meyer four, Harris three, Maahs and Ulrichs one.