When West Delaware and Beckman meet on the volleyball court, a WaMaC East Division title is often on the line.
The 2019 version of the neighborhood rumble was no different, featuring West Delaware’s 4A fifth-ranked Hawks and Beckman, the No. 3 team in Class 2A, in the latest IGHSAU rankings.
A big crowd at Beckman High School saw the Hawks earn their 10th WaMaC regular-season title since 2003 with a 3-1 win over the Blazers, Oct. 10, pushing West Delaware’s season mark to 31-3, while Beckman dropped to 34-6.
“What a great atmosphere for both squads to play in,” said West Delaware coach Brett Mather.
The Hawks jumped to a 5-0 lead in the opening set, and never let Beckman back into the game on the way to a 25-18 win.
The Blazers got back in the match with a 25-21 set two win, but when the Hawks found their tempo with first-team all-state setter Macey Kleitsch distributing the ball to the West Delaware big three — Allison Collier, Ava Hauser and Kinley Kolbet — and the Hawk defense doing what it seemingly does every match, West Delaware cruised to a 25-22 win in set three and a 25-19 win in the decisive set four.
The Hawk defense negated Beckman’s offense, with eight blocks on the night, holding Drake recruit Jada Wills to 15 kills in 39 attacks. The Blazers also converted only 67-of-78 serves, while West Delaware hit 90-of-95 for a success rate of .947.
“Our squad played with both great mental and physical discipline,” said Mather. “That led to a great level of play by our squad.”
West Delaware statistics against Beckman: kills — Kolbet 15, Collier and Hauser 13, Kleitsch eight, Alivia Schulte and Miah Winkowitsch four; assists — Kleitsch 49, Ella Koloc three, Heather Heims and Kayla Felton two, Hauser one; digs — Kleitsch 16, Heims 12, Koloc 11, Schulte and Felton seven, Hauser six, Kolbet, Sydney Morris and Winkowitsch three, Collier two; blocks — Kolbet four, Hauser three, Kleitsch one; ace serves — Collier four, Kleitsch two.
The Hawks barely broke a sweat in a WaMaC tuneup with Central DeWitt at Seedorff Gymnasium, Oct. 8.
It’s not easy to beat anyone 25-7, but that’s exactly what the Hawks did in the first set in front of a senior night crowd on the way to a sweep that took less time than Central’s bus ride to Manchester.
West Delaware took the second game, 25-15, and the third, 25-16, allowing Mather to get everyone involved, as the Hawks handed Central DeWitt its 14th loss in the last 16 matches.
“Our squad did a nice job of coming out and playing solid volleyball and taking care of business,” said Mather.
West Delaware statistics against DeWitt: kills — Collier 13, Hauser 11, Schulte six, Carlee Smith five, Kleitsch four, Kolbet three, Winkowitsch two; assists — Kleitsch 35, Leah Wegmann two, Kolbet and Smith one; digs — Koloc 19, Kleitsch 11, Heims seven, Felton and Hauser five, Smith three, Collier and Kolbet two, blocks — Kolbet four, Collier, Kleitsch and Smith one; ace serves — Koloc two, Felton, Kleitsch and Morris one.
Finding a tougher high school volleyball tournament than the Westside Invitational at Cedar Rapids Jefferson would be a tough task, with eight of the 16-team field in the IGHSAU rankings, but Mather’s Hawks are always up for a challenge.
The Hawks won Pool C, defeating Des Moines Roosevelt (19-21, 21-6, 15-7), traditional small-school power Tripoli (21-6, 21-15)) and host Jefferson (20-22, 21-12, 15-13).
West Delaware was eliminated in the quarterfinal round by Dike-New Hartford, 26-24, 25-19. The Hawks had defeated D-NH, ranked No.5 in Class 3A, at the Cedar Falls tournament two weeks ago.
“We struggled all day long with mental discipline,” said Mather. “We did continue to battle physically.”
Westside Classic statistics: kills — Kolbet 22, Hauser and Kleitsch 17, Collier and Schulte 13, Winkowitsch 12; assists — Kleitsch 76, Koloc 15, Felton and Heims two, Schulte one; digs — Koloc 38, Kleitsch and Morris 28, Heims 21, Felton 18, Schulte eight, Winkowitsch seven, Collier three, Hauser and Kolbet two; blocks — Kolbet seven, Hauser four, Kleitsch three, Collier two; ace serves —Collier eight, Felton four, Morris three, Kleitsch and Koloc one.