A young Mount Vernon volleyball team is finding its footing in early season contests with some of the tougher teams in the state, battling at the annual Shirley Ryan Invite that the Mustangs host on their home turf.

In the end, the host team could not escape the day’s quarterfinals, as they fell to the Western Dubuque Bobcats 2-0. Western Dubuque is ranked second in Class 4A.

The Mustangs overpowered the Ottumwa Bulldogs and the Wahlert Catholic Golden Eagles, each by a score of 2-0, before bowing to the Davenport Assumption Knights, 2-1, and then the aforementioned Bobcats.

Mount Vernon head coach Maggie Willems said she had “nothing to criticize” about the Mustangs.

“Our team is young, and relatively untested,” she said. “Today, we faced two really big tests” in Mount Vernon’s matchups with Assumption and Western Dubuque.

“We will continue to improve, and are better for our losses against these very strong teams,” said Willems.

“Overall, we did really good things today. We have very small things to work on in order to move to the next level,” Willems said.

Next up for the Mustangs was to be a road game against the Solon Spartans Tuesday, Sept. 7, before hosting Maquoketa Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Mount Vernon 2, Ottumwa Bulldogs 0

21-13, 21-9

Mount Vernon 2, Wahlert

Catholic Golden Eagles 0

21-11, 21-6

Davenport Assumption 2, Mount Vernon 1

19-21, 21-14, 15-6

Western Dubuque 2, Mount Vernon 0

25-20, 25-21

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