Volleyball: Best friends Bella Lee, Taylor Parks meet as foes tonight

Bella Lee dives for digs, refusing to let the volleyball ever touch the court. 

Not only does Lee keep plays alive, but her digs usually head in the direction of Taylor Parks, who provides an assist to another teammate. 

This is when Lee and Parks work on some sort of telepathic level of volleyball. 

Lee to Parks. 

Parks with an assist. 

Another point for their club team. 

Their consistency stems from years playing together for OTVA, where they became best friends. 

That friendship will continue as teammates at the collegiate level, too.

Last year, each committed to the University of Florida, currently No. 11 in the AVCA rankings. 

But tonight is different. 

For the final time in their high school careers, Lee and Parks face each other – as opponents. 

Lee, who plays for Plant, travels to take on Parks, who plays for Calvary Christian. The matchup between state title contenders starts at 6:30 p.m.

“It will be fun,” Lee said. “We’re always cheering each other on to make great plays. I can’t believe it’s our last time.”

This is the fifth time the two have played against each other in high school. The Warriors – and Parks – won three of the previous four entering tonight.

“This will be one of the toughest, if not the toughest, games we have had yet this season, but I am very excited because I just love competing,” Parks said. “It is good for me to play against great liberos because it forces me to be more intentional when being offensive.”

Two years ago, Lee and Parks guided their teams to state titles (Plant in 7A; Calvary Christian in 3A). This summer, they teamed together with the OTVA club program to win the National AAU 17 open title. 

Now, they are trying to close out their high school careers with another state championship. 

But first, there is one last meeting as rivals. 

“Although it is much easier to be on the same side of the net as Bella, I will still cherish the moments when we are competing against each other, since we are so lucky to get to be together for the next four years,” Parks said.