By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – The record, obviously, is not what Bedford North Lawrence’s senior class envisioned when 2018 became their time to step in the spotlight. Nobody devotes four years of blood and sweat to struggle.
So forget, for a moment, the measuring stick of wins-losses. BNL’s four-player senior class went out with class on Tuesday night, celebrating their home careers with the usual display of picture collages, memories and tears. Winning would have made it perfect.
Not every story has a happy ending. Seymour, so tall and talented on the frontline, would not buckle, even as the Stars gave a supreme effort. The Owls withstood BNL’s best and posted a 25-21, 25-17, 25-20 victory as the Stars slipped to 4-23 overall and 0-7 in the Hoosier Hills Conference.
BNL had moments and opportunities. The Stars, spurred by the emotion of the evening, had a 20-19 lead in Game 1 and a 16-13 advantage in Game 3. They lacked the closing kick to the finish line.
“I tell you what, the momentum we started with, and the intensity, was something I’ve been waiting for us to finally have,” BNL coach Jordan Robbins said. “The emotion and hype that comes with Senior Night is great, and the kids decided to play together and have fun. There was a lot of progress shown, and they worked their butts off.
“We’re doing so many great things and we’re not getting the wins for it. It’s hard not to win, especially when you’re trying to make things works. We’re come so far.”
Wins are seen as the just reward for work. The BNL seniors – Madison Branaman, Savanna VanHoy, Kaylee Streeter and Meredith Deckard – would gladly work out a deal for more Ws. Yet even in the darkest of days, they have not allowed any negativity to creep into their mindset.
”We do a good job of picking everyone up, keeping everyone with high energy and playing as a team,” Branaman said. “I don’t think it’s the winning, but some of the players lack confidence in themselves. They shouldn’t. Everyone is good and deserves to be there.”
BNL definitely deserved to be there with the Owls (18-13, 5-2). But Seymour went on a 6-1 run to close the opening set, and a 9-0 burst changed the momentum in the final set.
Jessica Blevins led the Seymour charge with 14 kills and 11 digs, while Makenna Fee, a towering figure up front, had 23 assists and 6 kills (half of those coming off backward tips to catch the defense off guard). Carlee Robinson was 15 of-15 serving (and had most of those during the big run in the final set) with 3 aces, and Hayley Harpe had 11 digs.
Deckard, in her first game back since an ankle injury sidelined her, had 8 kills, 7 service points and 6 digs for the Stars. Brynlea Bennett was 10 of 11 serving with 7 digs, VanHoy totaled 14 assists and 15 digs, and Streeter had 11 digs.
“It’s a great group of kids,” Robbins said of the upperclassmen, “and it will be tough to replace them as far as being great kids.”
BNL will conclude the regular season at Loogootee on Thursday before facing Floyd Central in the Class 4A sectional.