Blue Springs outside hitters Aliyah Bello and Cherray Wilson didn’t want to talk about it.
Well, at least not before the Greater Kansas City Volleyball Coaches Association Senior Mo-Kan All-Star Match Sunday night.
“We tried to avoid it,” Wilson said. “When we played our last game in sectionals, it was kind of like, ‘Hi. Bye. Don’t want to talk about it.’ We just don’t want to get emotional.”
It marked the last time they would play volleyball with each other. Although they won’t play competitive volleyball together anymore, the all-star game was a memorable one for the duo as they played with some of the best players in the Kansas City area. They played for Team Missouri as Kansas won 25-21, 25-20, 17-25.
“It was fun, but I was a little scared at first,” Bello said of the all-star match. “I think it’s a good experience to get all the best people together in a gym and see the turnout.”
Bello and Wilson had strong showings. Bello had three kills and a block, while Wilson had two kills of her own. Kansas and Missouri went back and forth and were eventually tied at 16-all. Kansas went on a 9-5 run to take it.
In the second set, Missouri jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Kansas roared back and dominated the rest of the set even with Bello chipping in with two kills and one block. Bello got Missouri on the board first in the third set with a kill and Missouri eventually came back and coasted to a third set win with the help of Wilson’s kills.
“For not playing for two weeks, I think I did all right,” Bello said. “Neither of us had touched a ball in a while.”
Even though Missouri lost, both Blue Springs seniors closed out the careers on a high note. They helped the Wildcats win their first district title since 2014 and win more than 20 games for the first time in four years.
“I was impressed,” Wilson said. “We hadn’t done much in the past. We didn’t have a winning season in a while. As seniors,we were able to show the younger players that we could win. We won districts and went to sectionals. It become a reality for them.”
So what’s the future for those two? Wilson plans to study interior design and real estate, while Bello plans to play basketball and pursue a degree in physical therapy in college.