Evangel wins NACA volleyball titlePublished 2:23pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
The Evangel Christian School’s varsity volleyball squad captured the National Association of Christian Athletes Division II National Championship in Dayton, Tenn., on Nov. 1.
The Lightning took down Grace Christian School from Massachusetts in a two-set sweep to clinch their first national championship, in their first year of participation in the tournament.
The Lightning secured a No. 2 seeding following pool play by beating West Florida Baptist and Providence (Tenn.). Evangel opened up tournament play by sweeping Shenandoah Valley Christian School (Va.) and S.L. Jones Academy (Fla.).
In the semifinal round, Evangel swept Grace. Due to the format of the tournament bracket, Evangel and Grace squared off again in the finals, with the Lightning taking a 2-0 win by scores of 25-15 and 25-18.
Head coach Caprice Lawrence said she was happy with the team’s effort on the big stage.
“I knew going into the tournament that we would face our toughest competition of the year,” she said in an email interview. “I had complete confidence in the ability of my team to play their best against our competition and with each other. They didn’t disappoint, even with a line-up change due to an injury in pool play, we played as a team and were able to remain undefeated throughout the tournament.”
Lawrence went on to say the feeling of capturing a national title was hard to top, but the respect the players had for each other made her the happiest.
“Winning a national title our first time out encourages me to continue to train our up and coming players in the same way physically, mentally and spiritually,” she said. “You can’t win no matter how good your athletes are if they don’t respect and value each other and the team.”
Erin Morris, Elizabeth Ragland and Kierson McGriff were named to the all-tournament team. McGriff led the team with nine kills and nine assists, while Ragland posted eight kills, four aces and 10 assists and seven digs. Morris registered four aces and 12 digs. Kate Ragland had seven digs, while Victoria Foster had five.