The young Western Dubuque volleyball team had a pretty good feeling that exciting things were in store for them this year. The Bobcats proved it right out of the gates as they pushed the much more experienced Hempstead squad to five sets (17-25, 25-19, 20-25, 25-22, 7-15) before running out of steam in Epworth, Aug. 27.

It was a back and forth affair between the two Mississippi Valley Conference foes with the Mustangs striking first as they took the opening set, but the Bobcats regrouped and showcased their new no regrets attitude at the net by swinging away and asking questions later.

“We’ve got a lot of swingers this year and we have to make sure we are using them,” said Megan Scherrman, head volleyball coach for the Bobcats. “We know that we are going to be going against some big blockers in our conference and tipping’s not going to get it done. They’ve got to stay tough and aggressive, and our girls aren’t afraid to swing.”

With that aggressive nature, the Bobcats were able to bounce back in the second set and again in the fourth set when they spotted the Mustangs a 10-1 lead as they dug deep to fight all the way back to send the match to a deciding fifth set.

“This group doesn’t know the word quit. They believe, no matter what the score, that they can come back and win and they proved that more than ever in the fourth set,” said Scherrman. “They rallied around each other and found a way to win. Even though we didn’t end up winning the match, that fight is something they will be showcasing every time they step onto the court.”

One of the issues that really hurt the Bobcats in their battle with the Mustangs was their service game. They ended up giving the Mustangs 19 points on service errors and that is something they will need to clean up if they want to challenge tough teams in the MVC.

The Bobcats’ leaders were: kills — Maddie Harris 14, Meredith Bahl and Meg Besler nine, Kaylee Elgin nine, Madison Maahs two; assists — Maahs 41; digs — Ella Meyer 19, Clare Horsfield 18, Bahl 15, Harris 10, Besler and Maahs five, Libby Lansing two, Elgin one; blocks — Bahl, Besler and Lansing three, Elgin and Harris two; serves — Bahl 20-of-21, Harris 18-of-19, Clare Horsfield 21-of-24; aces — Horsfield three, Bahl two, Elgin one.