The Chattanooga Christian volleyball team has won some big matches in the first month of the season, but none have been any bigger than the one they posted at home Monday night.
They suffered their first loss of the season at GPS on August 20, but the result was different at CCS as the Lady Chargers beat the Bruisers for the first time with a thrilling, five-set victory.
GPS won the first and third sets by scores of 25-23 and 25-16 while the Lady Chargers won the second set 25-21, then the fourth to even things up, 25-19.
Then in the fifth set with all the marbles on the table, CCS scored seven of the first 10 points and never looked back as a kill from Summer Jones clinched the fifth set and the match by a 15-9 final.
Chattanooga Christian improves to 23-4 while the Bruisers are now 12-4.
CCS coach Sarah Stutheit has been a big believer in her team’s ability to play with teams like GPS, but it’s been a much longer process convincing a bunch of teenaged girls that they could compete with better teams like the Bruisers.
They finally started believing during the fourth set and now might be more convinced after claiming a really big non-region win.
“I’m so proud of these girls as it was a tough match,” said Stutheit moments after the final point had been scored.
“One of our biggest problems this season has been our slow starts. We’ve been working on that and we had another one today, but we came back and fought for all we were worth. I couldn’t be more happy with the results.
“I thought we did a really good job of battling back after losing the first and third sets, but we wanted to shut down Preslee Brooksbank and Kendall Crum at the net. We were able to do that at critical times and was certainly one of our keys to victory.
“Grace Logterman was also huge at the net for us with her eight blocks, which took away a lot of their momentum. But we had desire and fight and that’s what we want to bring every match. And with us moving up to their region next year, this will give us a lot of confidence,” Stutheit added.
GPS scored the first point of the fifth set before Logterman gave her team the lead for the last time with back-to-back blocks.
The CCS lead was 5-3 when Emily Day went to the service line and knocked down six straight points for an 11-3 lead. It never got any closer.
“That was incredible as we came out with a lot of energy for this match,” said Logterman, a 17-year-old senior who’s been a three-year starter for CCS.
“This is a huge win for our team and that high energy level carried us, especially in the fourth and fifth sets,” she said after finishing with eight kills, two digs and a kill.
GPS coach Jasmine Brown offered similar comments as Stutheit when it came to the CCS strategy of successfully defending Brooksbank, the Bruisers offensive leader.
“They did a good job of taking Preslee out of the match, but she still played really well. Chattanooga Christian played a solid match and we didn’t make adjustments very well. Even though we won the first set, that sort of set the tone for the match as they just kept coming back,” Brown said later.
“I don’t think we were in it mentally and this is certainly a disappointing loss. I don’t think we played GPS volleyball tonight, but we have to move on and get ready for Notre Dame on Wednesday,” she added.
While Logterman was the leader with eight blocks, A.J. Johnson finished with 15 kills. Lauren Kay had 26 digs and Rachel Kay 21 assists while Emily Day finished with 16 assists and 13 digs.
Brooksbank was impressive again with 28 kills and 20 digs while Crum had a dozen kills.
Faith Copeland had 47 assists while Karly Benefield and Kylie Barry had 19 and 17 digs, respectively.
While GPS returns to action with a home match Wednesday against Notre Dame, Chattanooga Christian will host Silverdale on Tuesday in a key region contest.
Faith Copeland - 2 kills, 47 assists, 8 digs, 1 block assists
Preslee Brooksbank - 28 kills, 3 aces, 20 digs, 1 solo block, 1 block assist
Chapel Cunningham - 7 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace, 4 digs, 2 block assists
Kendall Crum - 12 kills, 3 block assists
Kylie Barry - 2 kills, 1 ace, 17 digs, 1 solo block
Karly Benefield - 1 assist, 4 aces, 19 digs
Charlotte Vance - 1 ace, 10 digs
Anabelle Clower - 1 kill, 4 digs, 3 block assists
CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN STATS:
Rachel Kay – 21 assists, 6 digs, 1 ace
Emily Day – 16 assists, 13 digs, 1 ace
A.J. Johnson – 3 blocks, 15 kills, 4 digs, 1 ace
Savannah Ricketts – 4 digs, 7 kills
Abbey Massey – 2 kills, 1 block, 1 dig
Avery Ray – 1 block, 3 digs, 3 kills
Grace Logterman – 8 blocks, 2 digs, 1 kill
Jolie Adams – 5 blocks, 3 kills
Summer Jones – 1 block, 10 digs, 9 kills
Lauren Kay – 1 assist, 26 digs
Lauren Day – 13 digs.
(email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)