The girls in black and gold had quite a season with a MAC title and great victories throughout the season. As the team was on track for a state tournament appearance, their season was ended by the Iowa City West Trojans in the regional finals.
The Bulldogs came out slow, going down two sets. Iowa City West was digging each spike the Bulldogs sent their way, and the frontline for the Trojans was efficient with their blocking.
Bettendorf had their backs against the wall; with another loss their season would be over. Therefore the girls stepped up their game. They started digging the Trojans’ attacks and returning them to the weaker back line players.
Bettendorf won both third and fourth sets 26-24. There was a short break before the girls returned to the court for the fifth and final set of the match. Only to 15, the final set is a true showing off competition and challenge. Both teams were rallying back forth until the Trojans took control all the way to match point. However, the Bulldogs were not finished yet and rallied all the way to 14-14.
Bettendorf’s demise came about when a lifting penalty made the game 15-14, and with a spike flying wide by the Bulldogs, the game along with their season was over. Bettendorf volleyball fell to Iowa City West in five sets.
“It was just a great game. It really showed the team’s resiliency and drive to win. It sucks to lose like that, but it was an awesome match,” junior Caroline Baer said about the Iowa City West matchup.
The ladies on the court had an impressive season, winning another MAC championship for the fourth consecutive year in a row. Seniors and juniors alike dominated the court for bettendorf this year. Hitters like Claire Leonard and Emma Ostrom dominated on the attack and sophomore Ally Grothusen was a strong frontline.
“It was great being a part of a team that grew over the season. Our chemistry improved, we pushed one another during practice, and it was just a fun time,” junior Grace Erpelding said.
The team went 20-12 throughout the season, with a seven game winning streak during early October. There were dozens of significant moments during the team’s season. Beating Clinton after going down two sets, shutting down Pleasant Valley, or the team bonding that happened throughout the fall.
The girls missed the state tournament in the regional finals but proved throughout the season that they were a state powerhouse. With seniors leaving the bettendorf volleyball program after a hard fought season that ended at Iowa City, the future of the team is in the hands of a strong underclassmen group filled with potential. The team has returners for next season that plan to make it to state at the U.S. Cellular Center in 2017.
The team celebrates as they score a point in the regional final against Iowa City West.