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Botetourt Sweeps Tabb For Class 3 State Volleyball Championship

)Cavalier senior Scottie Cook fires a shot past Tabb’s Janae Sayler during the second set of Friday’s match in Salem. (Bill Turner photo).

Area volleyball purists pointed to last Tuesday’s Class 3 state volleyball semifinal win by Lord Botetourt over Hidden Valley in a 3-2 overtime thriller as the actual state championship match.

Friday night at the Salem Civic Center those same purists were proven correct.
Hardly working up a sweat and controlling the match from the outset, Lord Botetourt picked up its second consecutive Class 3 state championship with the convincing 25-21, 25-18, 25-15 win over the Tabb Tigers from far-eastern Virginia near the Chesapeake Bay.
In a match that was nearly void of service errors and was completed in just over an hour, Botetourt used its patented power game to keep Tabb at bay all evening. Cavalier junior Miette Veldman, last year’s Class 3 player of the year, drove the engine for Botetourt, recording 20 kills that included a number from long range. She also brought up 15 digs from Tiger shots and added three blocks at the net.
Add to Veldman’s prowess 8 kills from Brooklyn Shelton, 7 kills from both Scottie Cook and Jenna Alam, 9 pulls from the court by Kenleigh Gunter and 40 assists from junior setter Jordyn Kepler, and the handwriting was on the wall for the outcome.
The first set saw Tabb score the opening two points, but the Cavs went on an 8-2 run to lead 8-4. The Tigers rallied to knot things at 9 and were only down 14-12 midway through the set when Botetourt went on an 8-0 power blitz to lead 22-12. Although the Tigers closed to 23-20, Veldman sent the opener to set-point with a ferocious kill and finished the set two points later with a perfectly placed push shot.
The Cavaliers ran out to a 12-5 lead in the second set and was willing to trade points the rest of the way. Tabb got no closer than 19-15 before Botetourt finished with a 6-3 run to go up two sets.
When Botetourt ran off a series of points to open the third set, the large crowd in the SCC sensed it was all over but the shouting. Veldman closed out the 10-point victory with a block and it was time for a Cavalier celebration.
Botetourt, under head coach Julie Conner, has now gone 65-1 in the last two years on its way to the pair of state titles. The only loss came in a 3-set showcase match against Cox of Virginia Beach in early September.
Tabb was led by senior Gabby Gardner and junior Briana Maclas, both captains notching 9 and six kills, respectfully.
Bill Turner

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