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Lady Spartans take care of No. 11 Dyersville Beckman

Courtney Smyth led Solon with four blocks against Dyersville Beckman last week. She’s pictured here in a match against Maquoketa Sept. 16. (photo by Doug Lindner)

DYERSVILLE– The stage was set for an upset.
No. 11 Dyersville Beckman had taken the first set from the No. 1-ranked Solon Lady Spartans in a 3A WaMaC East showdown in Dyersville.
Solon head coach Peter Gustin called it a sluggish start.
“We dropped the first set 20-25, with 20 of their points coming off our errors,” Gustin said. “Minimizing our errors has been an issue, but even that amount of errors in one game is an anomaly.”
With 19 kills from Jordan Smith and 16 from fellow senior Jordan Runge, Solon won the next three sets and took home a 3-1 win.
The Lady Spartans edged Beckman out in the second set 25-20, and then reeled off 25-16 and 25-18 wins to close it out.
“We had an injury in the third set, causing us to change our lineup on the fly,” Gustin said. “I was proud of the way our girls handled that situation and pushed forward with strong communication.”
Runge had a big game, notching her 16 kills on 28 attempts (42.9 percent) while going 17-20 at the service line with three aces.
“Jordan Runge’s presence at the net was phenomenal, and Beckman really struggled to find her on the net,” Gustin said. “Coming out of that match, I was pleased with the way our girls rebounded, but we were not satisfied with our play on the court.”
Solon served nine total aces against Beckman, with two each for Jess Heick and Reed McCarty, and one each for Grace McCarty and Smith.
Reed McCarty led the team in digs with 13, followed by Smith with 11 and Taylor Nearad with 10. Nearad had 45 assists as setter.
Courtney Smyth had four blocks to go with eight kills.
“We need to improve our pin blocking and our transitioning after the block to give our setter more options,” Gustin said when asked for areas in need of improvement. “Another point of emphasis will be improving our hitting efficiency.”
Solon had 11 total blocks against Beckman, but a kill efficiency of 20.6 percent.
The Lady Spartans were scheduled to travel to Epworth for a conference matchup with Western Dubuque Sept. 30 and a weekend tournament in Waverly before returning home Tuesday, Oct. 7, to host Central DeWitt.
Then, it’s another conference showdown as No. 2 West Delaware (4A) comes to Solon Thursday, Oct. 9, for the last regular season home match.