116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - Dyersville Beckman volleyball coach Todd Trautman tapped his chest Thursday afternoon during his interview session after the Trailblazers' Class 2A state semifinal match.
'You get a three-game sweep, it's good for the old ticker,” Trautman said after No. 3 Beckman swept past No. 7 Clarion CGD, 25-15, 25-18, 25-18 at the US Cellular Center. 'You never count on that.”
It's likely there will be more stress on Trautman and his Trailblazers in Friday's 4:45 p.m. title match where top-ranked and defending state champion Western Christian awaits. The Wolfpack advanced with a straight-set win over Osage.
Speaking of heart, Trautman said his team has displayed a lot of it throughout their tournament run.
'This whole two-week run through the regionals has been phenomenal,” he said. 'These girls have had such the right frame of mind. It's just amazing to see. They're talking, they're having a lot of fun and they're playing great volleyball. It's fun to watch.”
The Blazers' numbers against CGD were off the charts. As a team. Beckman hit .429, led by Jada Wills (.543, 19 kills) and Paige McDermott (.471, 11 kills). Kiersten Schmitt contributed 10 kills. On defense, Olivia Hogan had 15 digs.
'No, I don't have numbers like that very often,” Wills said with a laugh when asked about her big match. 'We were succeeding in all points of our game. We're really confident and know we can win and we know how to play the game.”
For McDermott, the key to Thursday's sweep was focus.
'We definitely brought all the energy we could,” McDermott said. 'We came in with a mindset that we could win. Our passes were good and our setters put the ball in good spots for us to hit.”
CGD (30-7) was led by Morgan Middleton with 18 kills.
Beckman was the 2A runner-up in 2000 in its only finals appearance. In contrast, Western Christian has won 17 state titles, second only to Dubuque Wahlert (20).
'This is the second time we've been in the finals in 19 years and they've almost won that many titles,” Troutman said. 'I think our kids are going to have fun and keep playing good volleyball.”
Wills believes the pressure will be on Western Christian because of their history.
'If we play like we have been, I think we have more than a chance,” she said. 'We're considered the upstart, but I am really confident in our team. We're definitely coming to win.”