It was a busy week for the Western Dubuque volleyball team. Not only did the Bobcats have all the homecoming festivities to deal with, but they also had some business to take care of on the volleyball court.
“We had so many fans show up for our match Tuesday night, showing their school spirit. It was great. It’s just been a really fun week,” said Madison Maahs. “But we all know that this is volleyball season so that means when we come into the gym at 3:30 p.m., it’s time to focus.”
It was also a week that the Bobcats went to work and found a way to increase their winning streak to 12 improving to 20-3, 4-2 in the Mississippi Valley Conference’s Mississippi Division.
The Bobcats started their week making quick work of the Linn-Mar Lions (9-14), needing just three games for their 15th win of the season (25-19, 25-16, 25-18) at Epworth, Sept. 28.
“I keep telling the girls that we have to keep our composure, but we have to keep getting better every day. We have to come into practice and keep working hard because there are always things we can get better at,” said Megan Scherrman, head coach. “At this point in the season, a lot of eyes are on us. We’re getting scouted and we have to make sure we are on point in all aspects of our game.”
Not only do the Bobcats have a lot of eyes on them, but they are also in the cross-hairs of every team on the opposite side of the court. This week they hosted the Bobcat Invitational on Oct. 2 so they had five teams to worry about.
The first order of business for the Bobcats was to get through pool play. Two of the four teams on their side of the pool Decorah (No. 14 in Class 2A) and West Liberty (No.4 in Class 3A) were ranked, but Western Dubuque had no problem as they breezed through Tipton (21-17, 21-11), Decorah (21-16, 21-8), West Liberty (21-16, 21-16) and Davenport North (21-1, 21-11) to go 4-0 in pool play.
After a long break between matches, the Bobcats came out a little lazy in game one against Class 5A No. 2 Pleasant Valley and paid the price by taking a disappointing 21-10 loss.
“We all took a step back and realized that it’s going to take each one of us individually to do our job, and then we’ll come together as a team. We showed how strong we are together after we regrouped to play Bobcat volleyball,” said Maahs. “We were passing well. We were running our offense, and we were putting the ball away. We were getting good touches. Everyone just came together and worked hard to get that win.”
The Bobcats took advantage of the full three-minute break between games as they recorded a 21-18 win. Then they sprinted to the title beating the Spartans 15-9 in the winner-take-all game three.
“I don’t want to get in the habit of that, but it’s nice to know that we can shake off a bad game and come out and play the way that we know we can play,” said Schermann. “Teams like (Pleasant Valley) are aggressive and play an offense a lot like ours, and once you get a little bit of a cushion you gotta remember it’s point for point. They are going to get their kills, but when they do then we get to touch the ball first. We just have to remember to get that little bit of cushion and then stay relaxed. These girls do a really good job of keeping their composure when there is a big point to be played in a big game.”
WD’s leaders against Linn-Mar were: kills — Meredith Bahl 22, Maddie Harris 13, Libby Lansing nine, Maahs five, Anna Kluesner and Hailey Wulfekuhle one; assists — Maahs 45; digs — Bahl 18, Harris and Natalie Ulrichs 16, Maahs 11, Ella Meyer eight, Emma Kapler and Lansing three, Wulfekuhle one; blocks — Lansing four, Harris, Heiberger and Kluesner onr; serves — Maahs 14-of-14, Kapler 10-of-10, Lansing 6-of-6, Ulrichs 17-of-18, Harris 12-of-14; aces — Lansing and Ulrichs two.
WD’s leaders at the Bobcat Invitational were: kills — Bahl 40, Harris 27, Lansing 26, Maahs eight, Kluesner five, Heiberger four; assists — Maahs 88; digs — Meyer 35, Bahl 29, Ulrichs 24, Harris 15, Maahs 13, Kapler six; blocks — Lansing nine, Maahs five, Bahl, Harris and Kluesner four; serves — Bahl 35-of-35, Maahs 18-of-18, Meyer 25-of-26, Harris 47-of-50, Kapler 28-of-31; aces — Bahl seven, Harris and Kapler four, Maahs, Meyer and Ulrichs two.