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Beckman volleyball’s new scheme plays to strengths
Now a hitter in a 5-1 attack, Iowa State recruit Kiersten Schmitt collects 20 kills in Blazers’ sweep of Marion
DYERSVILLE — This move played into Kiersten Schmitt’s strength. And into Leah Wessels’ growth.
“We couldn’t do this without our amazing setter,” Schmitt said, with a nod to Wessels.
Dyersville Beckman has shifted back to a 5-1 offense this season. It allows Schmitt to play more in the back row, and gives her more opportunities to attack.
A commit to Iowa State University, Schmitt collected 20 kills as Class 2A ninth-ranked Beckman swept 4A No. 6 Marion in a Wamac Conference East Division showdown, 25-21, 25-23, 25-19, Tuesday night at Beckman High School.
“It’s fun to watch,” Beckman Coach Todd Troutman said. “We were passing the ball tonight, and when we pass the ball, we’re pretty successful.”
Beckman improved to 17-4 overall, 2-0 in the division.
Schmitt came into the match second in the state (all classes) in kills per game, at 5.58. That rate will go up a bit.
And Wessels was No. 4 among setters, at 10.26 assists per game. She counted 37 Tuesday.
“It’s different,” Wessels said. “I didn’t play as much last year, but I’ve been a setter my whole life. It seems natural.”
Schmitt was a part-time hitter, part-time setter last season.
“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.”
Troutman has coached many, many excellent players during his 25 years (which have netted more than 600 victories). Schmitt ranks at or near the very top of the list.
“She has all of the physical tools,” Troutman said. “I’ve never had anybody as explosive as she is, at 6 feet.
“She plays all-around in club ball. She’s one of our top two passers. And we have the confidence that Leah can take care of the setting. If we didn’t have that confidence, we wouldn’t do it.”
Beckman played from ahead throughout virtually the entire match. Marion (15-3, 1-1) tied Game 2 at 16, 17, 19 and 23, but Schmitt kills accounted for the final two points.
The pivotal run in the finale came midway through, when Jenna Lansing scored four straight points (a kill, then three consecutive aces) for a 14-12 lead. And the Blazers didn’t look back.
Lansing added eight kills for the winners.
Avery Van Hook led Marion in kills (10), assists (15), aces (three) and blocks (three). Elise Mehaffy added seven kills and 13 assists.
DYERSVILLE BECKMAN 3, MARION 0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-19)
Serving: Marion 60-65 (.923), Beckman 67-73 (.918)
Aces: Marion 6 (Avery Van Hook 3), Beckman 6 (Jenna Lansing 3)
Kills: Marion 35 (Van Hook 10), Beckman 45 (Kiersten Schmitt 20)
Assists: Marion 33 (Van Hook 15), Beckman 43 (Leah Wessels 37)
Blocks: Marion 7 (Van Hook 3), Beckman 4 (four with 1)