MOUNT VERNON — First, they started communicating.
Then, they started clicking.
The Class 4A sixth-ranked Solon Spartans overcame a quiet, tired first set and surged past No. 8 Maquoketa, 17-25, 25-15, 15-10, to win their second straight Wamac Conference volleyball tournament Thursday night at Mount Vernon High School.
“We finally started talking more after that first game,” said Solon’s Jordan Runge, who had half of her team-high 10 kills in the deciding set. “Communication was a big issue in the first game, but we came together.”
Solon (29-4) scored six of the last seven points after the teams were tied, 9-all, in the final game. Runge slammed a pair of kills and Kelsey Cave posted a pair of blocks during the final surge.
“Everything the girls have worked for, all the goals they’ve set, we’re on target to be where we want to be,” said Solon Coach Peter Gustin.
The Spartans never trailed in the third set, but Maquoketa (29-6) forged six ties before Solon ran away.
Both teams swept their way to the championship match. Solon handled Clear Creek Amana in the quarterfinals before holding off Mount Vernon, 26-24, 25-22, in the semifinals.
The first set was tied, 24-24, before a kill by Cave and another by Kelsey Hinrichs gave Solon the game.
Maquoketa advanced by defeating West Delaware and Dyersville Beckman in the first two rounds.
The final four teams all hail from the East Division.
Maquoketa scored nine straight points late in the first game of the championship match, putting the Spartans in a hole.
“(The semifinal against Mount Vernon) was a tough match, and we were fatigued after it was over,” Gustin said. “After the first set, we realized what was on the line and what we had to give.”
A 7-1 run gave the Spartans a 12-5 lead in Game 2, and it never got closer than three points again.
Hinrichs and Cave added seven kills apiece for the champs. Emma Rickels dished out 29 assists.
Allison Vandemore paced Maquoketa with 10 kills. Devon O’Connell added nine, and Marlee Lindstrom posted 23 assists.
WAMAC CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
At Mount Vernon
Western Dubuque def. Benton Community, 25-16, 25-11
Williamsburg def. DeWitt Central, 25-21, 25-23
Center Point-Urbana def. Vinton-Shellsburg, 25-18, 25-14
Independence def. Anamosa, 25-10, 25-16
Extra Consolation Matches
DeWitt Central def. Benton Community, 25-19, 25-5
Vinton-Shellsburg def. Anamosa, 25-21, 25-20
Williamsburg def. Western Dubuque, 25-21, 25-20
Center Point-Urbana def. Independence, 25-17, 26-24
Williamsburg def. Center Point-Urbana, 25-23, 23-25, 15-13
Solon def. Clear Creek Amana, 25-21, 25-17
Mount Vernon def. Marion, 25-18, 15-25, 15-5
Maquoketa def. West Delaware, 25-22, 25-21
Dyersville Beckman def. Waterloo Columbus, 25-23, 25-20
Marion def. Clear Creek Amana, 19-25, 25-23, 15-13
West Delaware def. Waterloo Columbus, 26-24, 25-18
Solon def. Mount Vernon, 26-24, 25-22
Maquoketa def. Dyersville Beckman, 25-16, 25-20
Solon def. Maquoketa, 17-25, 25-15, 15-10