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VOLLEYBALL: Dotts-ing the ‘I’, crossing out WRV

BNL senior Hannah Dotts celebrates a point as the Stars swept past White River Valley on Thursday night.

BNL senior Hannah Dotts celebrates a point as the Stars swept past White River Valley on Thursday night.

BNL caps Senior Night

with sweep of Wolverines

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Hannah Dotts cried, so mad at her mother, when she was too little to play Girls Club volleyball. Now she sheds tears as she edges closer to being too old for her high school program.

Dotts, plus classmates Katelyn Hooten and Abby Keller, celebrated Senior Night on Thursday, and that’s always an emotional scene. All the years of work and sweat areĀ  condensed into a poster board of memories, a hug and some flowers. Farewell is difficult to say.

Bedford North Lawrence sent its seniors off in grand fashion as the Stars slugged White River Valley in three quick sets, rolling to a 25-10, 25-9, 25-10 triumph that also included a record-setting performance by setter Maddy Cosner. More about her later. This win was about the threesome that went out with a victory to remember.

Sophie Scarpellini soars to challenge a spike by WRV's Payton Franklin.

Sophie Scarpellini soars to challenge a spike by WRV’s Payton Franklin.

Dotts is a normal starter, one of the dependable outside hitters. But Hooten and Keller are usually in the shadows, on the bench. For their final home-court appearance, BNL coach Scott Saunders started all three of them, and the two reserves drew special praise.

“I wanted to give them a chance,” Saunders said. “As long as they played well, they were going to stay in and play. Good for them.

“They don’t get to play as much, but they are absolutely wonderful kids. If you want to put a definition of team player, put those kids in the dictionary. They practice hard every day, they’re always supportive. Team is definitely first in their eyes.”

The usual suspects contributed to the win over the overmatched Wolverines (8-19). Jenna Dufresne totaled 11 kills, Dotts had 9 kills and 5 digs, Tristin Day added 8 kills and 5 aces, and sophomore Sophie Scarpellini had 7 kills. Cosner totaled 28 assists and set a school single-season record. She now has 830, which broke the mark of 822 (set by Katelynn Tlustek in 2011).

Maddy Cosner set a school single-season record for assists.

Maddy Cosner set a school single-season record for assists.

“It was good, consistent ball,” Saunders said. “We’ve had other teams like this, and we’ve been up, down. Tonight we kept the foot on the gas and just kept going. It was nice to see.”

Hooten had 5 digs and Keller totaled 2 assists and 2 digs. BNL improved to 20-11, reaching the 20-win mark for the fourth straight year and the 12th time in Saunders’ 19-year run with the program.

That was the easy part. The hard part was coming off the floor prior to the final points, embracing teammates and swimming through the conflicting moods swings of joy for the moment, bittersweet tears for the ending.

“Emotional, to say the least,” Dotts said. “It was great. That’s a great group of girls to play with. It’s sad to see it come to an end. We had great energy the whole night and played together as a team. We had a lot of fun. Every minute was worth it.”

Hannah Dotts hugs a teammate after leaving the home court for the final time.

Hannah Dotts hugs a teammate after leaving the home court for the final time.

BNL will now get back to some real work. The Stars conclude the regular season on Saturday at Bloomington North – “That will give me a better indication of where we’re headed next week,” Saunders said – before battling Floyd Central in the first round of the Class 4-A sectional at Jeffersonville on Thursday.