By: Sara Wolf
Thursday, October 13 was Bellbrook Volleyball’s loud, exciting and emotional senior night. The girls celebrated their four seniors Abby Crotty, Natalie Galle, Allison Powell and Kaitlyn Urbaniak before they took on Eaton, whom they had beaten earlier this season. Both teams were determined to leave their last league game with a win, but Bellbrook’s home court advantage, loud towel-waving crowd, and bittersweet “leave it all on the floor” mindset brought energy that carried the girls to their win. The game ended in a 3 set victory for Bellbrook with 16 kills by Abby Crotty.
The seniors have a final 6 year league record of 79-16. This 79th win was followed by a team dinner where each senior was recognized in speeches from their coaches, teammates, and parents.
Senior Captain Natalie Galle has played volleyball since fourth grade and been on Varsity since her freshman year. Her favorite memories with the team were going on a team bonding trip to Hocking Hills, the team’s inside jokes and jamming to High School Musical with girls and head coach Lynzee Johnson during a 3 hour car ride. To her coaches, Galle said, “Thank you for the dedication and constant support over the years. You guys have made these past four years some of the best of my life.” To the underclassmen on the team, she advised, “Don’t take everything so seriously. Do your best to always win, but make sure you’re having fun while doing it.” Galle took on the Libero position for the first time this year, with over 210 digs throughout the season. Her teammates afterwards recognized her leadership and selflessness on the team, saying, “This season would not have gone the way it did if we didn’t have Natalie Galle.” Galle plans to go to OSU and become an anesthesiologist.
Senior Allison Powell has played volleyball since fourth grade and spent two years on Varsity. Her favorite memories with the team were at Hocking Hills. To her coaches, she said, “Thank you for dedicating time into this team and always believing we could do better. That being said, thank you for not being too serious or strict and letting us have fun while we improved.” She told the underclassmen that even though it sounds cliché, high school goes by quickly, and to make the most of it. Powell had the highest serving percentage on the team this year. Her teammates recognized her sense of humor and amazing attitude, all agreeing she will be missed. She plans to major in pre-med and minor in Spanish at OSU or UD.
Senior Kaitlyn Urbaniak has played volleyball since fourth grade and been on Varsity for 3 years. Her favorite memory with the team was scaring the other seniors in Hocking Hills by chucking grapes at them while they were in the hot tub. To her coaches, she said, “Thank you for not only helping me to become a better volleyball player, but a better person in general as well.” To her teammates, she said, “Enjoy it while it lasts. Time really does fly by. Although it’s nice to win, winning isn’t everything. Make sure you have fun, and you’ll be making memories to last a lifetime.” Urbaniak lead the team in aces this year, with 49 this season. She was ranked the 8th player in D2 for her aces. Urbaniak’s teammates recognized her leadership and the friendships she pursued with each of them this season. She plans on attending OU or Kent State to become a high school guidance counselor.
Senior Captain Abby Crotty has played volleyball since fourth grade and been on Varsity for 4 years. She said that her proudest moment was receiving league player of the year and 13th all-state player her sophomore year. One of her favorite memories was beating Minster 31-29 earlier this season. To her coaches, Crotty said, “Thank you for always believing in me and pushing me to reach my full potential. My development as a more confident and competitive player these past 4 years has been because of you guys so thank you.” To the underclassmen, she said, “I can’t believe our last league game is tonight. This has definitely been the most fun and memorable season yet. You are all such a great group of girls and I feel so confident in leaving the hands of Bellbrook volleyball to you guys. But don’t get too excited about me leaving yet, because we still have a lot of work to do this season.” Crotty has over 940 career kills and is hoping to reach 1000 before the end of the tournament. Her coaches and teammates all recognized Crotty as the pride of Bellbrook Volleyball, praising all that she has accomplished herself and for the team. “She is the hardest worker… I can’t imagine a season without Abby Crotty,” said head coach Lynzee Johnson. At the end of the night, Crotty said, “This season has been the best I could ask for. I’m very thankful to be a part of a family like this one and am so proud of what we’ve accomplished this season!” Crotty plans to attend UD in the fall.