BELLBROOK — Teams can gel together through on court play and the repetitions it brings.
Sometimes its also the team efforts off of it that can show how everyone is on the same mindset.
Bellbrook’s volleyball team had a latter situation after Tuesday’s win against Franklin at home when head coach Lynzee Allen challenged her group to disassemble the playing area and move everything into storage in less than five minutes.
“It usually takes 20 minutes and we’re just standing here waiting,” Allen said with a smile. “I’m like, we all have kids and you want to get home, we’re trying to get to dinner.”
Even as the Golden Eagles have been a bit slow to leave after wins, they are becoming proficient at quickly achieving them.
Bellbrook is 6-2 overall this season and 4-0 in SWBL games after Tuesday’s win, having won five straight matches all in straight sets. The opposition has never reached 20 points in the last 15 sets played, let alone the 25 needed to win one of them.
Part of the slow start for the Golden Eagles came due to the strong competition they faced out of the gate in non-league play.
They lost in tight matches to Badin and Springboro, which helped prep the team for its next test. That came on Saturday when it hosted Tippecanoe, which was ranked in the top-20 of the state Division II poll and unbeaten on the season, before losing to Bellbrook.
“It just felt like that was the moment it fully clicked and we were one unit,” McKenna Melton said. “We seemed unstoppable from the feeling you can’t really stop us if we’re all playing together as a team.”
It has indeed been a team effort for Bellbrook to come together and figure out new roles from a group losing its two middle blocker and libero from last year’s team which played for a sectional title.
The focus could be on Alanna Vavao, the reigning SWBL player of the year, who came into Tuesday’s match leading the team in kills with 67 and was second in digs. She has also been supported by Melton, who is leading the league in aces at 28 and had one fewer kill than Vavao.
Sam Pavlak is also second in blocks at 16, and the all around play of Sophie Davis has also been a plus for the team as she ranks in the top-5 in kills, aces, assists, digs and blocks on the squad.
“It’s super fun because everyone on our team is a huge contributor,” Melton said. “When anyone’s on the court, you have like complete trust in them and you know that they’re going to get the job done.”
“We’re probably one of the few teams who is going without a libero,” Allen said. “Between trying to figure out our defense and getting a second middle in there, we’ve just tried to get them all gelled together and I think it took us a little bit of time.”
Bellbrook’s next test comes on Thursday when it hosts an 11-1 Monroe team which is 5-0 in the league. Winning the SWBL is the initial goal for the Golden Eagles, but higher aspirations involving the postseason are what the team is hoping to achieve.
They got a taste of what will be needed to defeat some of the best Division I teams in the area with last year’s run that concluded with a loss one game short of a district finals appearance. The second season, as Allen called it, is motivation for her players to show they don’t just want to contend, but now win.
“The fact we can even put ourselves in the same sentences with top teams makes them really proud, but now they want to take it to the next level.”
Allen said holding each other accountable is helping her team push one another to stay competitive when they take the court. It also is good for getting the equipment put away quickly when they’re trying to get off of it.