DYERSVILLE — You could hear an adamant voice in Todd Troutman, even through ink on a preseason questionnaire:
“By no means do we consider this a rebuilding year,” he wrote in early August.
Jada Wills slammed nine of her match-high 18 kills in the final set, and Class 2A third-ranked Dyersville Beckman swept Marion, 25-22, 25-19, 25-16, in a Wamac Conference East Division volleyball match Tuesday night at Beckman Catholic High School.
“She’s a special, special player,” Troutman — the Blazers’ head coach — said of Wills. “It’s good to see her having fun.”
A senior and a Drake University commit, Wills transferred to Beckman from Dubuque Hempstead at the end of the first semester last year. Her arrival softened the blow from a gouge taken by graduation after the Blazers’ 44-4, state-semifinal run a season ago.
“It’s been awesome here,” Wills said. “The girls have been so nice ... Mr. Troutman ... just the whole atmosphere.
“We have so many girls that can play. Sometimes there are so many subs, it’s hard to get in rhythm. But everybody contributes and does their job.”
The only returning starter from last year, Paige McDermott converted all 22 of her serves (two for aces) and added five kills.
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All of the other faces are relatively new. Fourteen players saw the floor as Beckman improved to 14-2 overall, 2-0 in the division.
Marion (6-2, 1-1) had an opportunity to take the first set, leading 20-17. But the Blazers scored the next two points on Marion errors, then Wills closed it with two straight kills.
“We had a couple of key serve-receive miscues,” Indians Coach Roxanne Paulsen said. “We still have some young kids, and we’re trying to figure out which ones are ready.”
The Blazers rolled through the second set, then took control of the third with a 9-1 run to erase an early 5-1 deficit.
Leah Wessels posted 17 assists for the Blazers.
Kayba Laube and Elise Mehaffy led Marion with eight kills apiece. Avery Van Hook dished out 14 assists.
DYERSVILLE BECKMAN 3, MARION 0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-16)
Serving: Marion 52-58 (.897), Beckman 68-74 (.919).
Aces: Marion 7 (Kayba Laube 4), Beckman 6 (Ashley Engelken, Paige McDermott 2).
Kills: Marion 30 (Laube, Elise Mehaffy 8), Beckman 38 (Jada Wills 18).
Assists: Marion 28 (Avery Van Hook 14), Beckman 37 (Leah Wessels 17).
Blocks: Marion 4 (Delaney Rice 2), Beckman 10 (Kylee Rueber 4).
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