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

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

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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.”

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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