Elaine Kelley | Lakeview

There’s no question what was the best moment of the season for the Lakeview High volleyball team. Elaine Kelley, the Bulldogs’ senior 5-foot-11 middle hitter, said it was beating Hubbard before a packed house in the Eagles’ gym, a triumph that gave Lakeview a series sweep of their archrivals. “That was definitely a huge highlight. I don’t think we had beaten Hubbard since I’ve been playing. We have probably the biggest volleyball rivalry and that [second game] was one of our most intense games. The first game, we beat them but it went to a tiebreaker in five games. The second game was down at their new gym. They had their entire stands packed with fans. We played a really good game.” Those two wins over perennial contender Hubbard helped the Bulldogs post a 22-0 season and win the All-American Conference White Tier before bowing out in tournament play at the district level. “We definitely didn’t expect [to be undefeated] because we had real tough competition in our conference.” Kelley said senior leadership made a big difference. “We had six seniors and we had all been playing together since middle school so we had a lot of chemistry on our team.” Lakeview’s other seniors were Rebecca Calvin, Lindsey Jerino, Taylor Davis, Angela Farone and Kelly Musick. Kelley’s volleyball career began in seventh grade. “I’ve always liked volleyball but I wasn’t the best at it in middle school. I was probably one of the weaker players and I was the shortest.” A growth spurt as a freshman changed everything. “It kind of helps being the tallest one,” Kelley said. Like most top volleyball players, she honed her game in the offseason with Junior Olympic competition. “It’s definitely a big commitment because there are tournaments all over Ohio, but my Mom [Judy] has never complained. It’s has never fazed her that we have had to drive all over for volleyball.” Kelley said she hasn’t made up her mind about college and playing volleyball remains “a possibility, I just have to find the right school. I’m keeping my options open, I’m still going through the interview process.” She’s considering business as a major.

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