Iowa Hawkeye Football

Browse Coverage

Prep Volleyball

Big run propels Dyersville Beckman into state volleyball semifinals

Blazers sweep Wilton, bettering last year's finish

CEDAR RAPIDS — Dyersville Beckman has one mission.

The Blazers took a step closer to that goal, but they aren’t satisfied with step further than a year ago.

“Our one mission is for us to get to the championship,” Beckman’s Ellie Bildstein said. “We are working hard to get there.”

Second-ranked Beckman used a strong run that bridged the first and second sets to seize control and power\ to a 25-21, 25-13, 25-17 sweep over No. 11 Wilton in a Class 2A state volleyball quarterfinal Wednesday at the U.S. Cellular Center.

Beckman fell in the quarterfinals last season, losing to eventual 3A state champion Waterloo Columbus. The Blazers dropped a class and return six starters.

“It’s a way better feeling,” Bildstein said. “I can remember last year I was so upset. This year is an amazing feeling.”

Beckman has set a school record in wins, improving to 44-3. The Blazers have been waiting for this moment all season.

“They’ve been focused all year on that,” Beckman Coach Todd Troutman said. “Sometimes to our detriment on that, because we’ve tried to fast forward a bit when we shouldn’t have. We should have stayed more in the moment.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“Now, we’re here. This is what they’ve been pointing to all year. They wanted to come out and make a statement today and I think they did that.”

The Blazers were tested early, battling back and forth with the Beavers, who defeated top-ranked Grundy Center to reach the state field. Wilton held a 16-12 advantage when Beckman got hot.

The Blazers scored 12 of the final 15 points, receiving kills from five different players including Isabelle Bennett. Beckman produced a successful stretch, taking 23 of 26 points.

“It felt great,” said Bennett, who hammered home set points in each of the first two games and finished with a game-high 15 kills. “We knew we were playing together. Everyone was doing their job and playing great. It’s awesome when we play together.”

Beckman continued to ride the wave of momentum into the second set, scoring the first 11 points. Sydney Steffen set the tone with an attacking serve, leading both teams with three aces and adding 40 assists.

Bildstein had four of her 14 kills during the decisive stretch, assisting on a block with Caroline Kluesner.

“Took life out of them a little bit,” Troutman said. “We’ve kind of had that as our M.O. (modus operandi) in some of our matches toward the end of the season.

“We’ve got a great lineup out there. The kids have confidence in one another and we kind of expected the run to eventually come and it came at the perfect time.”

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

Everything seemed to go Beckman’s way, keeping balls alive, making accurate winners and extending points until Wilton made an error.

“It was awesome,” Bildstein said. “We were back in our groove. Balls weren’t dropping, so what we were doing was working for us.”

Aubrey Putman led Wilton with nine kills and two blocks, while Drake Kelsey added eight kills. The Beavers finished the season 36-5.

Beckman will take fifth-ranked Unity Christian in the semifinals at 4 p.m. Thursday.

“We don’t have a lot of time to prepare for them, so it’s all about doing what we want to do, focusing on us,” Troutman said. That’s what we’ll try and do.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.