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Bellmont's volleyball team enjoyed Senior Night festivities Thursday and, by the way, the Squaws downed Jay County in three games, 25-15, 25-8, and 25-14.
"That's something I started when I first started coaching here, to start the seniors and let them play in the first game. Considering what they've gone through, they deserve to play," stated head coach Criag Krull. It worked out Thursday that all six BHS seniors played that first game together.
The Squaws played that first game without junior setter Steph Shoup, and it showed, though Jess Sweney and Gabbie Weaver stepped in and did fine. Libero Chelsea Colclasure had several chances from her left side front line post, in a real switch of duties.
"It's been a great year," said senior Madison Schultz. "It's been really exciting. It's my last year and we're doing really well. We can't wait until the tourney."
The middle hitter, who had 8 kills and 3 blocks in the 27th win in 31 matches this year, is relaxed about the postseason prospects for Bellmont.
"I don't feel any pressure. I think we can pull through. We'll practice hard and do what we do."
Schultz noted the benefits of being a senior. "Since I'm a senior, I don't have older people yelling at me. We just kinda do our thing. It's laid back. We know what to do on the court," said Schultz.
"The season actually went really well," declared Colclasure.
"Hopefully, it'll end really well!"
Even with the bruises and floor burns that come with being a back-row player, Colclasure like her four varsity years on one of the state's top programs. "Four years ... it was definitely worth it," she noted.
Krull has noted all season that the Squaws have only one goal, to win the 3A State Title, and put the trophy next to the one Bellmont took in 2007.
The Squaws open with Peru at the Wayne Sectional a week from Saturday.
"The sectional competition should be similar to what we've seen in the last few weeks. We should have a pretty good matchup in regional," said the confident coach.
"After that, it's time to go."
"Right now, we're definitely focused on the tourney, even though it's a week until we play.
"Going through the tournament and winning .... that's our goal. We're looking forward to it."
Bellmont hosts its BHS Quad meet on Saturday. There will be four matches starting at 10 a.m. with Bellmont playing the first and fourth, and Adams Central playing in the middle two against Wapahani and Wes-Del.
The reserve Squaws also won easily: 25-13 and 25-7 as well Tuesday.
The Bellmont varsity stats were these:
Emily Pierce—four digs, three kills, two assists, two aces.
Payton Schultz—five kills, four digs.
Jess Sweney—two kills, two aces, one assist, one dig, one block, one block assist.
Gabbie Weaver—five assists, five digs, two kills, one ace, one block assist.
Holly Hankenson—one block assist.
Bailee Hankenson—three assists, two kills.
Chelsea Colclasure—eight digs, one kill, one ace, one assist.
Erin Hunter—two digs, one ace.
Allison Gutierrez—four digs, two aces.
Madison Schultz—eight kills, two assists, two block assists, one block, one dig, one ace.
Alex Fuelling—eight kills, seven digs, two aces, two block assists, one block.
Steph Shoup—17 assists, two kills, one ace, one dig.
Here are the reserve stats:
•Autumn Konkle—six assists, four digs, one ace, one kill.
•Devon Schultz—three digs, one ace.
•Natalie Busse—three kills.
•Shelby KIess—five assists, one kill, one dig, one ace.
•Maddie Stoppenhagen—one block, one dig, one ace.
•Carley Williams—four digs, two aces.
•Audrey Schultz—two kills, two digs.
•Hailee Hormann—nine digs, four aces, two kills, two assists.
•Emily Roman—six digs, five aces, two kills, one block.