Prep Volleyball

Volleyball notes: A milestone for Todd Troutman, then a title for Beckman

Coach reaches 600 victories, Blazers prevail in a rugged Wamac East

Dyersville Beckman volleyball coach Todd Troutman cheers on his players during their Class 2A quarterfinal match at last
Dyersville Beckman volleyball coach Todd Troutman cheers on his players during their Class 2A quarterfinal match at last year’s state tournament. Troutman picked up his 600th career win Saturday. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

Sleep came grudgingly for Todd Troutman late Tuesday night.

He wasn’t hashing out a loss, either.

“I was asking myself all night, ‘How did we pull that off?’” said Troutman, the volleyball coach at Dyersville Beckman.

After dropping the first two sets, the Blazers came roaring back and outlasted West Delaware to win the Wamac Conference East Division championship outright.

“We just kept battling,” Troutman said. “It was a lot like the Mount Vernon match (Sept. 22). We played enough defense to extend points, and we just kind of found a way to win it.”

Beckman (25-8, 5-0 Wamac East) is ranked No. 6 in Class 2A. State runners-up last year, the Blazers have recovered nicely after the graduation of three of their top four attackers, including all-stater Jada Wills.

“It’s just a testament to these kids,” Troutman said. “The Wamac East is tough, man. But these kids are tough, too. Sometimes they make it difficult, but they never show any quit.”

Junior Kiersten Schmitt has become Beckman’s focal point. She averages 3.40 kills per set and owns a .362 kill efficiency.

Three days before the comeback at Manchester, Troutman earned his 600th career win during the Waverly-Shell Rock Invitational. He owns a 603-193 mark in 24 seasons.

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Troutman began in the fall of 1986 and coached through 2005 before taking 11 years off — though he did serve as an eighth-grade coach for a year and as a varsity assistant for another.

He returned to the bench in 2017, and the Blazers have reached the state tournament three times, including a semifinal appearance in 2018 and last year’s runner-up finish. Beckman is 142-34 in Troutman 2.0.

“Any time you reach a milestone, you appreciate the kids along the way that got you there,” he said.

Touring the league races

Beckman is joined in the area conference winners’ circle by Cedar Rapids Xavier (MVC Valley Division), Wilton (River Valley South) and Starmont (Tri-Rivers West).

A peek at the races that are yet to be determined:

MVC Mississippi — The title is likely to be determined Oct. 15, when Iowa City Liberty (9-2, 4-0) visits Cedar Falls (21-2, 6-0).

Wamac West — Independence (18-4, 5-0) has wrapped up a share of the title, and can win it outright if it wins at home Thursday against Benton Community.

River Valley North — Monticello (13-8, 5-0) has earned a piece of the crown. The Panthers play at Anamosa (17-4, 3-1) Tuesday, and are sole champs if they prevail. If not, Anamosa and Cascade (16-6, 5-1) make it a three-way deadlock.

Tri-Rivers East — Lisbon (17-4, 4-0) holds the inside track and earns the title with wins against Cedar Valley Christian (Thursday) and Easton Valley (Tuesday).

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Northeast Iowa — Decorah (15-7, 5-0) hosts Waverly-Shell Rock (26-7, 5-0) Tuesday, and the victor is the champion.

South Iowa Cedar — The pivotal match is Thursday at Belle Plaine, where the Plainsmen (16-6, 6-0) host Montezuma (9-4, 7-0).

Upper Iowa — West Central (8-2, 6-0) is in position to win its first league title since 1995, and concludes league play with matches against North Fayette Valley and Clayton Ridge next week.

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

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