When West Delaware and Beckman meet on the volleyball court, one thing is for certain — you’re going to see a well-played match between two well-coached teams.
That was the case at Seedorff Gymnasium, in Manchester, Oct. 6, as Class 2A No. 9 Beckman rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Class 4A No. 8 West Delaware, 3-2, (20-25, 22-25, 25-16, 26-24, 19-17).
“It was definitely one of those games where you can’t feel comfortable. The game changes in a hurry,” said West Delaware coach Brett Mather. “We had our opportunities, but just didn’t finish games.”
West Delaware controlled the opening set, as setter Carlee Smith moved the ball around well. The Hawks kept things rolling in the second game, establishing the tempo and playing the tough defensive style West Delaware fans are accustomed to.
Beckman found its rhythm in the third set, cruising to a 6-0 lead to start the set on the way to a 25-16 win.
The Hawks bounced back in set four, leading early by as many as six points and were up 20-17 late. A Beckman run regained the lead at 22-20, before a West Delaware flurry had the Blazers cornered at match point with a 24-23 lead, but Beckman scored the final three points of the game to steal a 26-24 win that evened the match at 2-2.
The Hawks again had Beckman on the ropes in the fifth set, leading 14-11, before the Blazers tied it up to force extra volleyball. Tied at 17-17, the Blazers scored the final two points, with Olivia Hogan’s ace ending things at 19-17.
“It’s a lot of youth, but we’re showing growth,” said Mather. “We need to learn how to finish games. It’s a process just like anything else.”
“We played solid, no doubt about it,” he added. “It’s one of those things where when you’re in a position to finish the match, you need to finish the match.”
West Delaware statistics: assists — Carlee Smith 48, Ella Koloc six, Alivia Schulte two, Allie Demmer and Kayla Felton one; kills — Ava Hauser 17, Schulte 15, Demmer 12, Jaci Bries nine, Smith three, Felton two; digs — Koloc 28, Felton and Schulte 17, Hauser and Smith 16, Demmer four, Bries and Claire Ridenour two; blocks — Hauser five, Demmer four, Schulte three, Bries two, Felton one; serves — Koloc 11-of-11, Smith 12-of-13, Felton 21-of-23, Schulte 20-of-22, Hauser 21-of-24, Ridenour 11-of-13; team serving — 96-of-106 (90.6%), team hitting efficiency — 58 kills in 211 attacks with 19 errors (.185).
The Hawks road-tripped to the Westside Invitational, at Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Oct. 10, and picked up wins over Mississippi Valley Conference member Linn-Mar (20-22, 21-15, 16-14) and Class 3A No. 9 West Liberty (21-17, 21-18).
West Delaware dropped three-set matches to 3A No. 3 Mount Vernon (14-21, 23-21, 8-15) and 5A No. 8 Dubuque Hempstead (21-16, 7-21, 9-15) and stand 23-10 on the season heading to WaMaC tournament play.
“We went three sets in three matches at Jefferson,” said Mather. “The girls are competing hard and keep improving and getting better every day.”
West Delaware statistics against Linn-Mar: assists — Smith 26, Hauser one; kills — Schulte nine, Hauser eight, Felton five, Bries and Demmer two, Smith one; digs — Felton 12, Koloc, Schulte and Hauser 10, Smith two, Demmer and Ridenour one; blocks — Schulte, Demmer, Felton and Hauser one; serves — Smith 13-of-13, Hauser and Koloc 7-of-7, Ridenour 12-of-13, Felton 10-of-11, Schulte 3-of-5; team serving — 52-of-56 (92.9%); team hitting efficiency — 27 kills in 85 attacks with 13 errors (.165).
West Delaware statistics against Mount Vernon: assists — Smith 23, Felton one; kills — Hauser nine, Schulte eight, Demmer four, Bries two, Felton one; digs — Hauser and Schulte 10, Koloc eight, Felton five, Smith four; blocks — Smith two, Demmer one; serves — Smith and Koloc 5-of-5, Hauser 9-of-10, Ridenour 8-of-9, Schulte 6-of-7, Felton 7-of-9; team serving — 40-of-45 (88.9%); team hitting efficiency — 24 kills in 78 attacks with seven errors (.218).
West Delaware statistics against Dubuque Hempstead: assists — Smith 13, Koloc and Hauser one; kills — Schulte four, Bries and Hauser three, Demmer and Felton two, Smith one; digs — Hauser and Schulte 10, Koloc nine, Smith four, Felton three, Bries one; blocks — none; serves — Koloc 10-of-10, Ridenour 8-of-8, Schulte 6-of-6, Smith 4-of-4, Felton 4-of-5, Hauser 3-of-4; team serving — 35-of-37 (94.6%); team hitting efficiency — 15 kills in 74 attacks with nine errors (.081).
West Delaware statistics against West Liberty: assists — Smith 18, Koloc and Schulte two; kills — Schulte eight, Hauser five, Bries and Demmer three, Felton two, Smith one; digs — Koloc 11, Schulte eight, Hauser seven, Felton and Smith six, Bries, Ridenour and Demmer one; serves — Smith, Ridenour and Felton 7-of-7, Koloc 6-of-6, Hauser 4-of-5, Schulte 7-of-9; team serving — 38-of-41 (92.7%); team hitting efficiency — 22 kills in 88 attacks with three errors (.229).