LB’s Brooklyn Shelton (left) and Jenna Alam go up for a block against Northside.
Photo by Jim Devinney

The Lord Botetourt volleyball team keeps rolling along. The Cavaliers improved to 26-1 on the season with a Blue Ridge District championship last week.

Botetourt is hosting the Region 3D championship tournament this week. Action began Tuesday at home sites with eighth seeded Magna Vista visiting top seeded LB, seventh seeded Patrick County at second seeded Hidden Valley, sixth seeded Cave Spring at third seed Tunstall and fifth seeded Christiansburg at the fourth seed, Abingdon.

Tuesday’s winners advance to Thursday’s semifinals at LB, and the Cavaliers would play at 5:30 p.m. against the Abingdon-Christiansburg winner. The other semifinal is slated for 7 p.m., and the championship match is Monday night at LB at 6 p.m.

Botetourt is the favorite to win the tournament, but coach Julie Conner is wary of Hidden Valley. The Titans are traditionally strong and LB did not play them during the regular season.

“We scrimmaged them back in August but we didn’t play them during the season,” said Conner. “They’re good, and Cave Spring has also been playing well.”

Botetourt, of course, is the defending state champion and the Cavaliers have most of last year’s team back. LB is 57-1 over the past two seasons and looking for a repeat, especially since the state championship is being held in the valley this year, at the Salem Civic Center.

“Our girls are obviously motivated,” said Conner. “We talked about how the post-season is like a whole new season, and they’re anxious to do it again.”

The girls breezed through the district tournament last week at LB. They beat Staunton River in the semifinals, 25-10, 25-8 and 25-9. Miette Veldman had 15 kills and Jordyn Kepler had 35 assists.

In the final, Northside jumped out quickly with a 25-17 win in the first set but that just made the Cavaliers mad. They won the next three in dominating fashion, 25-11, 25-12 and 25-10. Veldman had 25 kills, Scottie Cook and Brooklyn Shelton had nine each and Kepler had 48 assists.

After the tournament Veldman was named BRD Player of the Year and Conner was the BRD Coach of the Year. Also winning first team honors were Kepler, Shelton, Catherine Reinard, Kenleigh Gunter and Alexis Ellis. Scottie Cook and Jenna Alam were named to the second team.

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