Belden back and better than ever at Hollis Brookline

Hollis Brookline's Kyra Belden

HOLLIS – There was so much in Florida for Kyra Belden.

Her grandparents, private school, Clearwater Beach and one of the most dynamic club volleyball programs in the nation, OTVA …

Nothing could replace her teammates and Hollis Brookline High School

volleyball.

“Honestly, It was (Coach Becky Balfour) and this volleyball program,” said the four-year varsity setter and three-time state champion Belden. “The girls are so friendly and it’s such a family atmosphere.”

After eight months away, attending Central Catholic in Clearwater, Belden chose to return to Hollis Brookline for her senior season with the dominant force in New Hampshire..

It was a decision that received nothing but raves in Cavalier Country.

“It was insane how excited they were for me to come back,” said Belden about her teammates. “They all texted me about how much they missed me. It meant a lot to me. I knew I was missed and I knew I would fit back into the program very well.”

But the clincher for Belden was the fact the she understands, it’s not just her or her deft sets.

“I think if it were anyone on the team, it would be been the same,” she said. “That’s why this program is so special.”

All is again right in New Hampshire volleyball. Belden, after eight months with her grandparents, is back and putting her teammates in perfect spots to succeed. The Cavaliers are off to a 5-0 start, without dropping a set. Friday’s win at Keene made it 38 straight victories and 300 in the program’s history, all under Balfour.

Recently, Belden took it all one step further, though. She took the anxious edge off senior year, committing to Division 2 Assumption College where she will play on scholarship. The “fun” has only just begun for most high school seniors.

Belden, though, can focus strictly on the court and the classroom.

“I’m thrilled about Assumption,” said Belden, noting that if it wasn’t for her time in Florida, she might not have made her decision just yet.

“After being in Florida with my grandparents and touring colleges there, I realized how much I loved the atmosphere in New England. I wanted to be back in the Northeast and it just took me a bit to realize what I wanted. Assumption is where I want to be. I think, especially after being away for eight months, I needed to be near my parents and my brothers.”

On court, things remain the same, save for the fact that the Cavaliers keep giving her so many options to pass to.

“We’re a strong team, so she’s come off the floor actually this season,” joked Balfour. “She’s one of the best setters we’ve ever had, one of the best setters in the state, period.”

Belden noted that the wars in practice, with a deep HB roster are only motivating the champs to push harder.

“In practice we mix it up and it’s even out there,” she said. “This is a lot of fun. We’re so motivated to win. We have the same mindset against every team, all we want to do is win.”