The Western Dubuque Bobcats, the second-ranked team in Class 4A, know they have a target on their back and they will be getting every team’s best shot whenever they step onto the court. It’s up to them to learn how to get that win by adjusting and responding to those challenges. They managed to figure out another way to get a win as they fought back from being down 2-1 to take care of Cedar Rapids Prairie, 3-2 (22-25, 25-13, 21-25, 25-18, 15-7) in Cedar Rapids, Sept. 7.
This was the Bobcats’ first five-set match of the season and they improved to 2-1 in Mississippi Valley Conference.
“Prairie came out and played us really tough,” said Megan Scherrman, head coach. “We weren’t on our game early and I didn’t expect that, but we woke up and by the end of the match we were showing how we like to play and control things on our side of the net. We were a little slow while running our offense sets early in the match, but we quickened things up later and I think that really confused them.”
Even when the Bobcats trailed, they were never far behind. After dropping the first set, the ‘Cats quickened things up offensively and that resulted in a lop-sided 25-13 win in set two.
It was the Hawks’ turn to make an adjustment during the third set for a 2-1 lead.
Once again the Bobcats responded by changing tempo and this time they kept control as they closed out the match.
“I like how the girls got out of the rut they were in, but at the end of the day a win is a win,” said Scherrman. “Whether it be in three or in five, I just wanted to come out of there with a win. I was also happy to see how they adjusted and finished the match playing the way we know how to play and how we want to play.”
In the back end of the match, the faster tempo allowed the Bobcats’ hitters to go up against one blocker or have an open swing which resulted in more kills. Those free swings energized Western Dubuque and helped them dominate Prairie in the final two sets.
“We were able to fight out of our funk and play winning Bobcat volleyball. There is never anything wrong with being down in a match as long as you keep fighting to change what’s happening on the court,” said Scherrman. “Our girls all have a very high volleyball IQ and know to accept the process and to listen to their coaches. We all are in this together.”
WD’s statistical leaders were: kills — Harris 23, Bahl 19, Lansing 12, Anna Kluesner and MaddisonMaahs seven; assists — Maahs 54; digs — Ella Meyer 38, Bahl 17, Maahs and Natalie Ulrichs 12, Harris 11, Emma Kapler and Hailey Wulfekuhle three, Franny Heiberger and Lansing two; blocks — Harris, Kluesner and Lansing two, Maahs one; serves — Kapler 17-of-17, Ulrichs 14-of-15, Harris 28-of-30 and Meyer 9-of-10; aces — Harris, Maahs and Ulrichs two, Kapler one.