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Beckman shows no rust in regional sweep of Maquoketa Valley

Blazers take first step toward state volleyball return

DYERSVILLE — Todd Troutman was jittery.

“Probably as nervous as I’ve been in a while,” he said. “You get to this point, and you never know.”

Well, after a few points, you knew.

In addition to talented and balanced, second-ranked Dyersville Beckman also was focused, and that spelled a sweep — 25-8, 25-14, 25-13 — in a 49-minute Class 2A volleyball regional quarterfinal Monday night at Beckman Catholic High School.

“Like Troutman told us before the match, our record and ranking don’t matter any more. We were 0-0,” Heather Boeckenstedt said. “We don’t want our season to end here. We want it to end at the state tournament.”

Beckman (41-3) rolls into Thursday’s regional semifinal, where it will host Cascade (20-14).

It had been 11 days since the Blazers’ last official competition, when they won the Wamac Conference tournament. They participated in a four-team scrimmage at Linn-Mar last Thursday, and that kept them sharp, focused and humble.

“I’d like to see them a little more emotional,” Troutman said. “It was more of a business-as-usual approach.”

That can happen when seniors dominate a roster and the goal is high.

Maquoketa Valley (15-13) scored the first point of the match, but that was the Wildcats’ only lead of the night. Beckman surged ahead with scoring runs of 10 and nine in the first set, then used a 12-1 sprint to race away from a 9-8 edge in the second.

Game 3 was more of a gradual pull-away.

Beckman enjoyed a 43-21 margin in kills. Boeckenstedt collected 13.

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“You can tell when she’s on and swinging well,” setter Sydney Steffen said. “And when she is, it really opens things up even more.”

Caroline Kluesner added nine kills, Isabelle Bennett seven, Paige McDermott and Ellie Bildstein six apiece. Steffen distributed 28 assists, and the Blazers converted all 73 of their serves.

“We didn’t make a ton of mistakes tonight, and that’s good to see,” Troutman said. “Teams are going to earn points on you. You just don’t want to give many away.”

Emerson Whittenbaugh and Maci Freiburger had seven kills apiece for Maquoketa Valley.

DYERSVILLE BECKMAN 3, MAQUOKETA VALLEY 0 (25-8, 25-14, 25-13)

2A Regional Quarterfinal, at Dyersville

Serving — Maquoketa Valley 34-36 (.944), Beckman 73-73 (1.000).

Aces — Maquoketa Valley 2 (Emerson Whittenbaugh, Olivia Hoeger), Beckman 7 (Caroline Kluesner, Heather Boeckenstedt 2).

Kills — Maquoketa Valley 21 (Whittenbaugh, Maci Freiburger 7), Beckman 43 (Boeckenstedt 13).

Assists — Maquoketa Valley 19 (Maddy Anderegg 18), Beckman 42 (Sydney Steffen 38).

Blocks — Maquoketa Valley 4 (four with 1), Beckman 5 (Kluesner, Boeckenstedt 2).

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

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