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Smith brings the hammer against Beckman

SOLON– Jordan Smith obliged the Solon student section by bringing the hammer down against Dyersville Beckman last week.
The Lady Spartan varsity volleyball squad defeated Beckman 3-0 Tuesday night (Sept. 17), moving to 13-1 on the season and dropping to No. 2 in the Class 4A rankings released by the Iowa Girls High Athletic Union.
After a bit of a slow start, the Lady Spartans dominated Beckman in the second game and cruised to another sweep, their 12th of the year, 25-18, 25-13, 25-18.
But it was the standout play of junior Jordan Smith that really made the game memorable.
Smith pounded out 19 kills– some thunderous– and served up four aces in the win.
“Jordan’s performance was by far and away her best at Solon. A .607 kill efficiency on 28 swings is a phenomenal stat line,” said head coach Peter Gustin. “She took advantage of split blockers and making the smart shot when the block was closed.”
Smith was also 10-13 from the service line and added four digs, but the rest of the team also showed up.
Jordan Runge add 10 kills on 18 attempts, while Vik Meade and Kendra Cave contributed seven and six. Setter Taylor Nearad had 40 assists and was 17-18 in serves with an ace. Rylee Smith had 13 digs and was 11-14 with two aces on serve. The team had had eight players notch aces, a total of 12 for the match.
“We traded points in that first set for quite some time before we pulled away,” Gustin said. “The second set was one of our strongest of the season. I was very pleased with our defensive effort. We haven’t seen our girls crashing to the floor that hard to get a ball up very consistently. On Tuesday, I think our girls realized how crucial every defensive point it is.”
Solon held Beckman to only 17 kills for the match (despite only two blocks), and a single service ace.
But Gustin would like to see that defense get even better.
“Serve receive has been a constant struggle for us and that’s why our team kill efficiency (currently .292) is down right now,” he said. “We are having to run our offense out of system far too often, but the girls are grinding away in practice to figure out their issues.”
He’d also like to see the blocking improve, but he couldn’t be happier with the way his team has jelled.
“Our team chemistry this year is what a coach hopes for,” he said. “Our girls are driven and have a diligent work ethic, yet they remain lighthearted.”
That should help as Solon closes out a large portion of its remaining schedule on the road. The Lady Spartans were scheduled to host Western Dubuque Tuesday (Sept. 24) and then head on the road to Central DeWitt Friday. The last home match of the regular season will be Tuesday, Oct. 1, hosting Anamosa.