MOUNT VERNON — This was Isabella Sade’s last chance to get the best of West Delaware.
“They’re a great program,” she said. “We’d lost to them every time I’ve played them.”
Not this time.
Class 4A third-ranked Marion came from way behind to win the first set, then conquered the 3A No. 2 Hawks, 25-20, 23-25, 15-9 for the Wamac Conference volleyball tournament championship Thursday night at Mount Vernon High School.
Marion improved to 31-9 and rules the Wamac for the first time since 2005.
“I’ve never been a part of something like this,” Marion’s Andrea Landuyt said. “To beat West Delaware, it’s always been a goal of mine.”
The pivotal moment of the final match came at the end of the first set. The Hawks (40-4) looked comfortable at 20-15, but the Indians scored the final 10 points of the set.
“That was huge,” Indians Coach Roxanne Paulsen said. “We did a great job hitting our spots on our serves. This is a big step forward for us.”
“We just minimized our errors,” Landuyt said. “We just had an attitude of ‘nothing drops.’ Then we put the ball away.”
The Hawks steadied themselves and claimed the second set, but Marion scored the first five points of the finale and led the whole way.
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“The first set, they didn’t outplay us. We gave that one away,” West Delaware Coach Brett Mather said. “The last set, they outplayed us.”
“We just believed,” Sade said. “Coach talked to us about having no fear. We believed we could do it.”
The two-time defending tournament champion and last year’s 4A state champ, West Delaware went three sets in all three of its three matches Thursday. The Hawks outlasted Western Dubuque in the quarterfinals (rallying from an 11-7 deficit in Game 3), then did likewise against Independence in the semifinals.
“We fought ourselves all day,” Mather said. “It was a roller coaster in the mental game. We’re going to have to get better at that.”
Marion handled Center Point-Urbana in the quarterfinals, then beat Dyersville Beckman, 26-28, 25-22, 15-6, in the semis.
Beckman, ranked 11th in 3A, pulled the upset of the bracket, knocking off 3A No. 3 Mount Vernon, 25-23, 25-19, in the quarterfinals.
WAMAC CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT.
At Mount Vernon
Benton Community def. DeWitt Central, 25-21, 25-16
Clear Creek Amana def. South Tama, 25-22, 25-16
Solon def. Anamosa, 25-21, 25-21
Williamsburg def. Vinton-Shellsburg, 25-13, 25-12
Extra Consolation Matches
DeWitt Central def. Vinton-Shellsburg, 25-18, 25-16
Anamosa def. South Tama, 21-25, 25-20, 15-13
Clear Creek Amana def. Benton Community, 25-15, 25-22
Williamsburg def. Solon, 26-24, 25-7
Williamsburg def. Clear Creek Amana, 25-21, 25-21
West Delaware def. Western Dubuque, 26-24, 24-26, 15-13
Independence def. Maquoketa, 25-12, 25-12
Dyersville Beckman def. Mount Vernon, 25-23, 25-19
Marion def. Center Point-Urbana, 25-12, 25-17
Mount Vernon def. Maquoketa, 25-11, 25-13
Center Point-Urbana def. Western Dubuque, 25-17, 16-25, 15-10
West Delaware def. Independence, 18-25, 25-19, 15-8
Marion def. Dyersville Beckman, 26-28, 25-22, 15-6
Marion def. West Delaware, 25-20, 23-25, 15-9
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