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HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL NOTEPAD: Respect relieves the grief

Spotsylvania’s volleyball team has payback on its mind when Courtland visits its gym today.

It’s not what you think.

The Knights are eager to show the Cougars some love as a token of appreciation for the heartfelt gesture Courtland’s players and coaches made during the preseason.

Spotsylvania was struck hard by the sudden death of Jordan Gentile, a Knights volleyball player who fell ill right before the season.

With heavy hearts, Gentile’s teammates went back to practice. They were in the gym on Labor Day when Courtland’s players and coaches arrived with food and table settings for a feast in the Spotsylvania High School cafeteria.

“They brought flowers and had everything all set up,” Knights coach Lou Wondree said. “They had plates on the table and they served them, and it was a celebration of Jordan’s life.”

It was a tearful, emotional, special experience for everybody involved. The Knights haven’t had a chance to truly express what the gesture meant to them during such a difficult time.

Wondree said his team has something special planned for the Cougars before today’s game.

“Right now, as much of a rival as they are, we’re looking forward to playing them just so we can show our appreciation for what they did for us,” Wondree said.

Wondree said his team, which has won five straight matches since starting the season 2–2, got closer through the tragedy, and they are playing with the memory of Gentile in their hearts.

“They bonded very well as a team,” Wondree said. “It helps that Jordan’s parents are still attending all the volleyball functions. Her mother was like the team mother.”

Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442