Gini Davis/The Chronicle
CRESWELL – Netting First Team All-Tournament at the OSAA 3A Volleyball State Championships capped a ”killer” junior season for the Lady Bulldogs’ go-to outside hitter, Breanna Dapron – who was also named Creswell’s Player of the Game for their state championship match against Santiam Christian, and First Team All-League for the Mountain Valley Conference.
Although aggressive on the attack, Dapron is a quiet, humble player who seems never to let nerves or frustration unsettle her focus, or to value personal accolades over team success.
”She never even asks after a game how many kills she got,” said Coach Anna Baltrusch. ”She doesn’t care; she’s just out there to help her team win.”
”I’m not focusing on just myself,” Dapron said. ”We all, no matter what, are always working together.”
Still, individual honors are accumulating in proportion to her talent. The season’s stats tell the story: Dapron led her team in kills with 384, with a .203 hitting efficiency. She also recorded 13 aces, 98 digs and 3 stuff blocks.
On and off the court, ”She was amazing this year,” Baltrusch said of her three-year varsity hitter. ”She’s very competitive, but she is all about relationships, with her coaches, with her teammates.”
Dapron – a middle blocker her freshman year and middle/outside hitter as a sophomore who transitioned outside for her junior season – said she’d like to play volleyball at a small college, but none have yet approached her.
”She doesn’t play club, and it’s very important to play club if you want to play volleyball in college, because that’s where most recruiters are going to see you play,” Baltrusch said. ”But I’m sure they’ll watch the video from state, and we’ll make highlight films of Breanna for anybody that’s interested.”
Those films may be comprised of clips Dapron herself has never seen.
”She loves people coming out and watching her play, but she doesn’t even go online and watch herself play,” Baltrusch said. ”Although she should, and some of her teammates are encouraging her to, because she’s fantastic.”
Dapron was Creswell’s only representative on this year’s All-Tournament teams – but in her mind and heart, her teammates are right there with her.
”I never have cared about individual awards and stats,” she said. ”To me, a big part of a team is not having individual players who are thinking about themselves but always being a team and thinking about each other. We’re a family; we’ve got to stick together.”
As for Dapron’s volleyball future: stay tuned. Her senior season lies ahead, and true to form, Dapron perceives herself not as already good enough but as having ”a lot of work to do on getting into a consistency with hitting, and definitely serve receive and passing,” she said. ”So, I’m going to try and get in the gym more, get more reps.”
Baltrusch said that if her star player maintains a good work ethic in the gym and in the classroom, she’s confident colleges will come knocking.
”They should be, and I’m sure they will be,” Baltrusch said. ”I’ve told her, ‘You’ve been given a gift of incredible athletic ability, and through that you have the opportunity to go and build the future you want.’ She knows we all care about her and will be here to support her.”