The state volleyball tournament will be held in Murfreesboro next week, but the Chattanooga Christian volleyball team will have to travel a few extra miles and go through Memphis if they plan to be a participant.
The Lady Chargers had a tough time at Notre Dame on Monday as they lost two tough matches and finished fourth in the D-II, Class A East Region.
Somehow, they played their next match at home Wednesday night against the East region’s third-team Friendship Christian.
The Lady Chargers improved to 36-10 with the hard-fought 3-1 victory while the season ends for the Lady Commanders at 23-6.
The first two sets weren’t very close as CCS won the first by a 25-16 final before Friendship won the second by a similar 25-17 margin.
That’s when the Lady Chargers dug down deep into their souls and simply refused to lose taking the next two sets by scores of 26-24 and 28-26 to advance.
“We came into this match not knowing much about them, but we had been told their middle hitters were their go-to players,” said CCS coach Sarah Stutheit shortly after the match ended.
“I liked the way we came out strong in the first set, but got a little sloppy in that second set and it cost us. We were able to fight back in the third and fourth sets, so I’m really proud of how we battled at the end.
“We want to play in Murfreesboro next week, so this is the best possible situation we could be in right now. We were more aggressive tonight and had good ball control. They did exactly what I asked, so hopefully we can continue playing like this on Saturday,” she added.
The Lady Chargers will play at Harding Academy on Saturday with the starting time yet to be determined.
Friendship Christian has been a state volleyball power in years past and they have another really good team this year. They just came up a little bit short in their final match of the season.
“Chattanooga Christian has a great team and we knew it would be a tough match coming in,” said Friendship Christian coach Kaitlyn Teeter shortly after the final point had been scored.
“I really thought we had a shot to win, but we got close and couldn’t finish. They did and we didn’t, but I’m still proud of the way we played,” she added.
The Lady Commanders had leads of 7-3, 15-9 and 22-19 in the third set, but a kill from Abbey Massey allowed CCS to knot the score at 23.
The visitors from Lebanon went up 24-23 on a kill from Bayley West before a hitting error knotted the score for the last time at 24.
CCS took the lead for the last time on a block by Grace Logterman before a Lady Commander return sailed wide as the Lady Chargers took the 2-1 lead.
Another kill from Massey allowed CCS to create a 12-7 lead, but Friendship scored six of the next seven points for a 13-13 tie following an ace from Pryce Daniels.
It was a real battle at the end as two kills by Daniels and another by Kaylee Scharfman gave the visitors a 24-22 lead, but they couldn’t hold it as the Lady Chargers simply refused to lose.
A hitting error by Friendship gave CCS the lead for the last time before Massey wrapped up the match with her 12th kill.
A.J. Johnson had 15 kills and six aces to lead CCS while Lauren Kay had 28 digs. Rachel Kay had 26 assists while Jones added 19 digs.
CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN STATS:
Jolie Adams – 1 assist, 5 kills, 2 blocks, 3 digs
Emily Day – 16 assists, 4 kills, 8 digs
Lauren Kay – 1 assist, 28 digs
A.J. Johnson – 1 assist, 15 kills, 6 aces, 1 block, 4 digs
Avery Ray – 1 kill
Lauren Day – 13 digs
Summer Jones – 1 assist, 4 kills, 1 block, 2 aces, 19 digs
Rachel Kay – 26 assists, 9 digs, 1 ace
Abbey Massey – 12 kills, 3 blocks, 1 dig
Grace Logterman – 3 kills, 4 blocks, 6 digs, 2 aces
Savannah Ricketts – 8 kills, 1 block.
(email John Hunt at email@example.com)