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Stotesbury joins long list

MERRY HILL – It has become tradition.

In the three years since Dr. Ed Clouse took over the Lawrence Academy volleyball team, the Warriors have won three straight league titles and had three student-athletes chosen as Tarheel Independent Conference Player of the Year.

This season, it was Warriors’ senior Debbie Stotesbury who was chosen to follow in the footsteps of Jenna Griffin and Kendall Street as Lawrence Academy volleyball players of the year in the TIC.

“Debbie certainly deserved the honor this season the same way Kendall and Jenna did before her,” Dr. Clouse said. “I’m proud of each of them. They were each different players with different strengths, but they made the most of their abilities.”

Stotesbury was a junior during the Warriors’ TIC championship run in Dr. Clouse’s first season and was determined to make the streak stand during her senior campaign.

“We did better than I expected when the season started,” she said. “It’s good to leave as conference champions.”

As for the individual honor, Stotesbury said she chose to give it her all and then let the coaches of the TIC make the determination of how well she played.

“I hustled all year and played to the best of my ability to make a statement for myself and for everyone else,” she said. “I played hard and then let the chips fall where they may.”

It was her hustle that made the difference in her receiving player of the year honors and the Warriors winning the league championship, according to her coach.

“She taught our team to never give up,” Dr. Clouse said. “She showed them the desire to win with her hustle and never giving up on a play.

“Debbie had a very good season,” he said. “I think she was sometimes frustrated because she didn’t win the state championship she was hoping for. Still, Debbie never gave up on a play until the whistle blew. That is what set her apart from every other player in the league.”

Stotesbury was honored after her senior campaign as a member of the All-Tarheel Independent Conference, TIC All-Tournament, TIC Player of the Year and a member of the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association All-State team.

The senior captain led her team in aces (91) and assists (341). She averaged 5.7 aces per match and 21.3 assists from her setter position. Stotesbury was good on 86 percent of her serves and added 21 kills and 124 digs during her senior season.

Also, during her first season as a team captain, Stotesbury said her role was a little different.

“It was unusual for me to be the one telling other players what to do on the floor,” she said. “I did get some help from some of the juniors, but it was different because I was the only senior.”

Stotesbury said she had not ruled out playing at the collegiate level and was looking into possible opportunities to play at that level.

Stotesbury is the daughter of Glenn and Sherry Stotesbury.