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Bettendorf sweep Women of Troy 3-0

Women of Troy face relentless Bulldogs
The Iowa City West High Women of Troy gather around Emily Halverson and their state tournament quarterfinalist trophy after a 3-0 loss to Bettendorf. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

CEDAR RAPIDS– Their nickname is the Bulldogs, and the Iowa City West High Women of Troy found out how tenacious, tough and relentless Bulldogs can be as Bettendorf swept them 3-0 in a Class 5A State Volleyball Tournament quarterfinal match Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.
“I told the girls they’re a relentless team,” West coach Randy Dolson said after the match. “No matter what we hit at them, or served at them… they were in-system most of the afternoon. They hit extremely hard and put the pressure on us… and kept us out of system more.”
The Bulldogs took the first set, 25-21. West took their first lead in the second set at 15-14 but Bettendorf rallied to a 25-16 win before putting the match away 25-18 in the third set.
“They’re a really good opponent but we were really nervous and playing kind of tight,” said junior Ali Tauchen. Tauchen led the offense with 11 kills, backed up by fellow juniors Emma Norris and Emily Halverson with nine apiece.
Bettendorf knocked off West in similar fashion a year ago. Tauchen said they knew what to expect. “We had a game plan and we tried to execute it, and we didn’t quite do that the best at the beginning.” After the first set loss, she said, the team members were down on themselves. “But we got back up and things were going really well,” she said. But then a few errors crept in, which swung the momentum back to the Bulldogs.
“I think we’re a good team,” Dolson said, “and they’re a very good team, but we had a few more errors than they did. And, that relentlessness… them coming after us consistently and constantly, I think that was the difference.” The coach said the team had talked about their previous encounter with Bettendorf and what to expect. “They’re a solid program and they’ve got a lot more kids coming up.”
Dolson expressed optimism for the future of West High, adding, “We’ve got some good kids coming up… a lot of these kids are going to be coming back next year (11 players are currently juniors with four sophomores in the varsity ranks), so we’ve got a lot to look forward to.” It was the final appearance for seniors Anna Mabry, Marissa Frisbie, Hannah Birt and Lauren Reis; although none had playing time in the match. “It was a tough year for our seniors,” Dolson said. “A lot of our seniors didn’t get a whole lot of playing time– have to give them credit though for coming to practice everyday and working hard.”
Looking ahead to next season, Dolson anticipates a lot of competition again for playing time. “Our future looks good, but our girls better be ready to compete, because nothing’s going to be easy as far as positions next year.”
The Women of Troy ended with a 27-12 record overall while Bettendorf improved to 34-2 ahead of a semifinal match against Cedar Falls on Thursday, Nov. 12. The Tigers defeated Cedar Rapids Kennedy 4-1 in the quarterfinals to advance while Dubuque Hempstead, Dolson’s previous team, knocked off Dowling Catholic, 3-1. The Mustangs advanced to face Ankeny Centennial.
It was West High’s 12th State Tournament appearance and the second consecutive. The team won back-to-back championships in 2010 and 2011 under coach Kathy Bresnahan, who is to be inducted into the Iowa Girls’ Coaches Association Volleyball Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 21, in Carroll.

KILLS: A. Tauchen 11, E. Norris 9, E. Halverson 9, C. Haight 6, C. Greene 3, A. Sowers 1, M. Ford 1, K. Lang 1.
ASSISTS: M. Fay 32, Norris 1, Greene 1.
ACE SERVES: Tauchen 1, Fay 1.
SOLO BLOCKS: Norris 1, Halverson 1.
ASSIST BLOCKS: Tauchen 2, T. Taylor 1, Greene 1.
DIGS: Lang 11, Norris 8, Tauchen 7, M. Ford 6, Haight 4, Fay 3, Halverson 1, G. Klemme 1.