Kingwood wins first volleyball title

Kingwood Christian School made history Saturday afternoon by advancing to its first AISA volleyball championship match and proceeded to win it all, taking the 2A title from Clarke Prep, 3-1.

After dropping the first set of the final, 25-20, Kingwood composed itself to win three straight 25-15, 25-20, 25-14.

Kingwood rallied from five down in the second set, 11-6, to blow past CPA, 25-15. The Lions put together a 5-1 run to overcome the deficit and tie the match, 11-11. Moments later, tied 14-14, a Lauren “Dooda” Rozof block, followed by a Dooda tip, sparked an 11-1 run to even the match. After leading most of the third set, Kingwood bean to fall apart late allowing the Gators to take the lead, 22-20 off a series of mental mistakes. Eighth-grader Casey Whitmer silenced the Gators run with a kill that started a 5-point run for the Lions to take the third set on an ace by Millie Opper. Rachel Holsombeck also had an ace for the deciding point in the second set.

Kingwood controlled the fourth set, closing out in a fitting way with a senior trifecta. Holsombeck passed the ball to senior setter Serina Bourassa, who placed a perfect assist for Heather Matzke for the final kill.

The Lions started the day by jumping out to a 2-0 lead over Morgan Academy in the semifinal, before the Senators rallied to win sets three and four. However, Kingwood gained composure to start the fifth set with a 6-1 lead before rolling into the history books with a match-point block, 15-7, by Whitmer.

“Every time we beat someone pretty decent, we lose focus. That’s not to take anything away from Morgan,” Kingwood head coach John Jones said. “I knew after we won the second game pretty easily that it was not over. We have been pretty decent in five sets this year though.”

Since joining the AISA in 1995, Kingwood has appeared in all but one Final Four, finishing either third or fourth each year.

“This third or fourth place is really getting old,” Kingwood head coach John Jones said.

The Lions were led by Bourassa, who had 21 assists and eight kills. Holsombeck and Matzke had eight and seven kills, respectivley. Matzke led the Lions’ defense with 11 digs and was joined by Opper with 10. Rozof had 10 blocks, eight digs and five kills.

Kingwood posted a 39-6 record en route to the championship