Prep Volleyball

Todd Troutman back in the game, and Dyersville Beckman volleyball has blossomed

No. 11 Blazers open 3A regionals against No. 15 Monticello

Dyersville Beckman volleyball coach Todd Troutman urges on his team during the Wamac Conference tournament at Marion last Thursday. Troutman is back with the Blazers after a 12-year absence. They face Monticello in a Class 3A regional quarterfinal Wednesday. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Dyersville Beckman volleyball coach Todd Troutman urges on his team during the Wamac Conference tournament at Marion last Thursday. Troutman is back with the Blazers after a 12-year absence. They face Monticello in a Class 3A regional quarterfinal Wednesday. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

When Todd Troutman stepped down as a volleyball coach at Dyersville Beckman in 2005, he didn’t step away from the game.

He coached for a club, and he coached middle-school ball. He came back as an assistant for a year.

Then, Troutman said, “the position opened back up, and I was at a point in my career and my personal life that it was a good time to get back in.”

The regular-season portion of Troutman’s first season back has been a success. The 11th-ranked Blazers are 28-11, finished second in the Wamac Conference East Division and were Wamac tournament runners-up.

“We’re a lot like other teams,” Troutman said. “Some nights, we look phenomenal. Some nights, it’s a challenge. Momentum is such a huge factor and can come and go so fast.”

Beckman doesn’t have to wait long for a postseason challenge. The Blazers host No. 15 Monticello (23-9) in a Class 3A regional quarterfinal Wednesday. First serve is 7 p.m.

It’s the area’s premier match as 3A, 4A and 5A regionals begin.

“Monticello is a very good club,” Troutman said. “They definitely have some weapons we’ve got to be aware of.

“We’d might as well jump in the fire right away, I guess.”

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Troutman’s first stint with the Blazers lasted from 1986 through 2005 and netted four state-tournament berths, including a runner-up finish in 2000.

Wednesday’s slate includes three matches involving Metro/Iowa City teams. Cedar Rapids Kennedy (9-22) is at Cedar Rapids Washington (14-23) in a 5A encounter, and Iowa City High (15-16) hosts Davenport West (7-19). In 4A, No. 11 Marion (23-15) hosts Iowa City Liberty (13-18).

Washington’s 14 wins are more than the three previous seasons combined.

“Our progress has been good,” said Warriors Coach Olivia Pikokivaka. “Last year, we were more outcome-focused. Now our mentality is on the process.

“A big, key factor was that before the season, Kathryn (Holtz) came up and said, ‘Hey, I want to set.’ And she’s done a great job.”

The Warriors are 2-0 against Kennedy this season.

Marion is coming off a big high, winning the Wamac tournament title last Thursday. Drake recruit Caitlyn Smith is fourth in 4A in assists per set (9.01).

Wednesday's Class 5A regional quarterfinals

(All matches, 7 p.m.)

Region 4

C.R. Kennedy (9-22) at C.R. Washington (14-23)

Region 5

Des Moines North (0-23) at Ottumwa (18-19)

Region 7

Davenport North (11-11) at Davenport Central (11-13)

Region 8

Davenport West (7-19) at Iowa City High (15-16)

Wednesday's Class 4A regional quarterfinals

(All matches, 7 p.m.)

District 5

Waterloo East (5-27) at Decorah (12-20)

Webster City (8-25) at Mason City (2-25)

Region 6

Grinnell (9-22) at Clear Creek Amana (19-17)

Iowa City Liberty (13-18) at Marion (25-13)

Region 7

Washington (2-18) at Mount Pleasant (12-18)

Keokuk (3-20) at Fairfield (23-8)

Region 8

Maquoketa (5-30) at Western Dubuque (21-13)

DeWitt Central (6-28) at Clinton (18-12)

Wednesday's Class 3A regional quarterfinals

(All matches, 7 p.m.)

District 5

Union Community (16-16) at West Delaware (24-19)

Waterloo Columbus (30-8) at South Hardin (5-22)

Waukon (8-28) at New Hampton (27-9)

North Fayette Valley (10-16) at Oelwein (14-24)

District 6

Vinton-Shellsburg (6-29) at Mount Vernon (24-10)

South Tama (12-20) at Benton Community (13-29)

Nevada (22-18) at Iowa Falls-Alden (28-5)

Monroe PCM (10-19) at West Marshall (27-10)

District 7

Northeast (6-24) at Davenport Assumption (23-8)

Solon (15-20) at West Liberty (21-13)

Monticello (23-9) at Dyersville Beckman (28-12)

Anamosa (13-17) at Camanche (31-8)

District 8

Williamsburg (9-20) at Tipton (29-6)

Mid-Prairie (5-22) at Central Lee (15-15)

Albia (10-22) at Eddyville EBF (20-15)

Centerville (6-14) at Davis County (15-22)

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

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