Prep Volleyball

Beckman claims its first Wamac volleyball tournament title

Blazers handle Center Point-Urbana in the championship match

Dyersville Beckman Blazers
Dyersville Beckman Blazers

MOUNT VERNON — It wouldn’t have been accurate — or fair — to classify Dyersville Beckman’s recent stretch as a slump.

“We weren’t going to run the table all season,” Coach Todd Troutman said. “Not against this schedule.”

Whatever it was, it’s over now. The Blazers have their mojo back.

Class 2A second-ranked Beckman recovered from first-set losses in the quarterfinals and semifinals, then rolled past 3A No. 3 Center Point-Urbana, 25-13, 25-20, to capture the Wamac Conference volleyball tournament Thursday night at Mount Vernon High School.

“It feels really good to win this,” Isabelle Bennett said. “We were getting tired. We really didn’t want to go three sets again (in the final)."

The tournament title is Beckman’s first as a member of the Wamac. And the Blazers are the first team in the state to reach 40 victories this season (against three losses).

Beckman started 35-0, then dropped three in a row before returning to its winning ways.

“We were playing against a lot of good teams, and we slowed down a little,” setter Sydney Steffen said. “It opened everybody’s eyes a little bit, and now we’ve rebounded.”

Wamac tournament runners-up last year, the Blazers fought past 4A No. 3 Independence in the quarterfinals, 23-25, 25-10, 15-6, then outlasted 3A No. 12 Mount Vernon in the semifinals, 20-25, 25-22, 15-12.

In the final match, Beckman hit full throttle.

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“They just don’t have a weak spot,” CPU Coach Cathy Husmann said. “They are strong all around, and they’re smart.”

Like Beckman, CPU (27-12) was a regular-season divisional runner-up. The Stormin’ Pointers advanced to the championship match by knocking off 4A No. 9 West Delaware in the semifinals, 25-18, 25-22.

Beckman ran through the first set, then pulled away from a 19-17 contest in Game 2, scoring four straight points, including a kill and two aces by Bennett.

Steffen, the setter, has the luxury of hitters all around, in every rotation. Four of them average more than 2 kills per set. Ellie Bildstein had the final two kills for the Blazers on Thursday.

“We’ve been playing together since eighth grade, and everybody connects really well,” Steffen said. “We have five or six girls that can hit at all times.”

West Delaware’s Brett Mather became the 11th coach in state history to reach the 800-win plateau, reaching that mark when the Hawks swept Solon, 25-22, 25-12 in the quarterfinals.

Following the Hawks’ semifinal loss to CPU, Mather is 800-203 in nearly 25 years, including 770-176 in 23 seasons at West Delaware.

Wamac volleyball tournament

Consolation Quarterfinals

Williamsburg def. Maquoketa, 25-15, 25-11

Marion def. South Tama, 25-17, 25-18

Extra Consolation Match

South Tama def. Maquoketa, 25-15, 25-19

Consolation Semifinals

Williamsburg def. DeWitt Central, 23-25, 25-23, 15-13

Marion def. Vinton-Shellsburg, 21-25, 25-17, 15-10

Consolation Final

Marion def. Williamsburg, 25-21, 25-15

Quarterfinals

West Delaware def. Solon, 25-22, 25-12

Center Point-Urbana def. Clear Creek Amana, 25-21, 25-21

Dyersville Beckman def. Independence, 23-25, 25-10, 15-6

Mount Vernon def. Benton Community, 25-21, 25-17

Extra Matches

Solon def. Benton Community, 25-16, 25-22

Independence def. Clear Creek Amana, 25-20, 19-25, 15-9

Semifinals

Center Point-Urbana def. West Delaware, 25-18, 25-22

Dyersville Beckman def. Mount Vernon, 20-25, 25-22, 15-12

Championship

Dyersville Beckman def. Center Point-Urbana, 25-13, 25-20

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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