Prep Volleyball

Independence opens some eyes in early-season volleyball quad

Mustangs match Western Dubuque with a 2-1 performance

Grace Bohlken, Independence
Grace Bohlken, Independence

INDEPENDENCE — There wasn’t an undisputed champion at Thursday’s star-filled Highway 20 volleyball quadrangular.

There also was no doubt what the story of the night was.

It was Independence.

The host Mustangs stood on even ground with all three of their top-10 opponents, winning two matches and sending the other — against Class 4A No. 1 Western Dubuque — to three sets.

“We knew those other teams were really good. They were going to show us what they had,” Indee’s Grace Bohlken said.

Independence (2-1), ranked No. 12 in 3A, showed plenty, too.

“It was a lot of fun volleyball,” Mustangs Coach Joe Schmitz said. “We had a veteran team coming back. We’re athletic and we’re scrappy. And if we play like we did tonight, we can stay with people.”

The Mustangs dropped their opener with Western Dubuque, 25-18, 22-25, 15-10, then rebounded with wins over 4A No. 5 West Delaware, 25-22, 25-16, and 2A No. 2 Dyersville Beckman, 25-18, 20-25, 15-7.

Western Dubuque (2-2) also won two of three Thursday and beat Indee head-to-head; Beckman and West Delaware were 1-2.

For Western Dubuque, Thursday capped a challenging week. The Bobcats dropped a five-setter to defending 5A state champion Cedar Falls on Tuesday.

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“We played five hard sets Tuesday and eight hard sets today,” Bobcats Coach Megan Scherrman said. “But there’s no excuse for the way we finished tonight (a straight-set loss to West Delaware). We need to do better, and we’ve got some work to do.”

Beckman was the 2A state runner-up last year, and West Delaware also reached the U.S. Cellular Center. Independence lost in the regional finals, and that sparked the Mustangs in the offseason.

“I think we impressed some people tonight,” Bohlken said. “I don’t think people expected us to show what we had, but honestly, we wanted to win all three.”

PREP VOLLEYBALL: INDEPENDENCE QUAD

Dyersville Beckman def. West Delaware, 25-19, 25-23

Western Dubuque def. Independence, 25-18, 22-25, 15-10

Independence def. West Delaware, 25-22, 25-16

Western Dubuque def. Dyersville Beckman, 25-15, 25-21

Independence def. Dyersville Beckman, 25-18, 20-25, 15-7

West Delaware def. Western Dubuque, 25-21, 25-17

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

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