Bellmontâ€™s plan all along was to take out Brebeuf in the final match
FUELLING FIRES â€” Bellmont standout outside hitter Alex Fuelling prepares to slam the ball in for another kill at the IHSAA State 3A Volleyball Finals last Saturday. (Deb Shannon Photo)
Winning a state championship is evidently no accident.
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From the first interview I had with Bellmont Coach Craig Krull in early August, he noted that his team "had only one goal." Of course, that was to win it all.
Bellmont didn't win those two early tough tourneys the Squaws were in. That didn't matter.
In fact, Krull's girls knew what it would come down to.
"From the beginning of the year, though we didn't talk about it, all of us knew that it would come down to us at Brebeuf in the final match. We just worked and did what we had to do to prepare for that day," stated Bellmont senior standout Alex Fuelling.
"Those early tournaments gave us a feel for what it would be liked. They were like steps of the season. We lost to Yorktown, but that helped us figure it out. We played Burris and got beat, but we played really well against them, and we felt that experience gave us a fighting chance. We realized, we can play with these (elite) teams," added Fuelling, who signed her letter of intent Wednesday to play for Morehead State's women's volleyball team.
Though beating Brebeuf was great excitement, Fuelling felt that the win against Yorktown in the semistate was better. "It was more exciting because it went four games."
Bellmont won the first two games against Brebeuf. It was time to finish them off. "It was 18-18 and I told the girls, 'we can finish it. Give everything you have for seven points and it'll be done," explained Fuelling.
Had Brebeuf come back and won that very close finale, Fuelling feels like the Squaws would have rallied back.
Still, winning in three was a surprise to Fuelling. "I was figuring it would be a nail-biter, four or five games. I thought Brebeuf would come out with a little more fire, even when they lost the first game," said Fuelling.
Alex feels that the outstanding back row play of senior Chelsea Colclasure may have shocked the Braves. "In the second game, we were reading everything and Chelsea picked up those cross court hits of (Jeme) Obeime, and we were ready for the sliding hits of Sloane (White). In the third game, Sloane came out with that big bow in her hair, and they came with a little more stuff, but couldn't finish it," described Alex.
"We brought our A game," stated senior Gabbie Weaver. "We were fired up. We went through our thing in the locker room and went out and did the job. Then Emily came out with her A game, and they weren't expecting that. I'm so proud of her," said Weaver of senior Emily Pierce, who had an outstanding match.
"The whole time, from when we started with our summer conditioning, it was no matter who is on the team, we're going to push together. Every single one of us wanted to win state, and we pulled together," said senior Madison Schultz.
And it was too much for Brebeuf to overcome.
Bellmont received a big boost from the crowd. The 2,000 or so Decaturites there made it like a home match in Muncie.
"At one point, our student section realized they were on the wrong side. They walked all the way around the arena single-file. It was like an ant farm. It was awesome," stated Fuelling.
"We definitely brought our A game," said senior Gabbie Weaver. "We were really fired up. We did what we do (dance) in the locker room, then went out and got the job done."
"Everyone played well, especially Emily," said Payton Schultz.
"We had it all along. We had it in us. I'll always remember how awesome we played."