116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Todd Troutman is going to miss this.
The nervous bus rides to Manchester, to Marion, to Mount Vernon.
The sometimes-joyous, sometimes-quiet trips home.
The epic matches.
“The Wamac (Conference) East (Division), it’s a battle just about every night,” said Troutman, volleyball coach at Dyersville Beckman.
It’s not yet official, but it’s very likely that Beckman — along with Maquoketa — will depart the Wamac for the River Valley Conference after the current school year.
The move will rekindle geographic rivalries with teams like Cascade, Monticello and Anamosa. In terms of enrollment and competitive balance in all sports, it’s a wise decision.
But in volleyball, well, Troutman is going to miss this.
In non-divisional matches, the quartet of Beckman, Marion, Mount Vernon and West Delaware have a combined record of 54-11. And it’s not like any of them are playing a bunch of schmucks outside the league.
All four are ranked in the top 10 of their respective classes (Marion in 4A, West Delaware and Mount Vernon in 3A, Beckman in 2A). And there’s a good possibility all four will be at the state tournament the first week of November.
The Blazers (17-4, 2-0) remained in a first-place tie with a sweep of Marion (15-3, 1-1) on Tuesday.
Iowa State University commit Kiersten Schmitt collected 20 kills and posted a .371 efficiency, and Leah Wessels posted 37 assists.
Schmitt was a part-time setter last year, but now she’s always on the attack in a 5-1 offense.
“I like this a lot,” she said. “I’m still learning the basics of this, but every match, it’s getting better and better.
“The 5-1 opens up options for us.”
In whatever conference Beckman resides in 2022, Troutman will continue to challenge his team on Saturdays.
“The nice thing about volleyball, I can schedule tough tournaments,” he said. “We’re going to see great competition in tournaments.
“(Former Dubuque Wahlert coach and current IHSAA executive director) Tom Keating always told me, ‘You can’t control how strong your conference is, but you can always control what you do on Saturdays.’”
Beckman hosts Mount Vernon (9-4, 2-0) next Tuesday and welcomes West Delaware (19-2, 1-1) on Oct. 5.
Other Tuesday highlights ...
Clear Creek Amana gained sole possession of first place in the Wamac West, sweeping Independence, 26-24, 25-17, 25-18.
“Our blocking definitely helped,” CCA Coach Jackie Clubb said. “And our big hitters stepped up.
“We were in the mode of just playing, and not worrying about what was at stake.”
Bliss Beck collected 11 kills for the Clippers (11-5, 3-0). Illinois State recruit Calia Clubb added 10.
Iowa City West created a four-way tie for the lead in the MVC Valley Division race by outlasting Dubuque Hempstead in five sets, 15-6 in the fifth.
The Trojans (9-6 overall) and Hempstead (10-6) are 3-1 in the division, as are Cedar Rapids Kennedy (12-5) and Cedar Rapids Xavier (13-2).
Monticello stands alone atop the River Valley Conference North Division after sweeping Cascade, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19.
Freshman Jayden Kuper collected 10 kills and 17 digs for the Panthers (9-4, 3-0).