Evangel volleyball claims another title

The Evangel Christian School volleyball team poses with its 2010 championship trophy after claiming a second consecutive Alabama Christian Sports Conference championship Oct. 16 at Faulkner University in Montgomery. (Contributed)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Evangel Christian School volleyball coach Dan Ellis didn’t expect back-to-back championship seasons.

Ellis couldn’t fathom following a perfect 16-0 championship season with an astonishing 17-1 run the next season to claim back-to-back Alabama Christian Sports Conference titles.

Ellis didn’t see it coming, which makes it even more rewarding for the Evangel volleyball players and coaches.

“It’s been a wonderful ride,” Ellis said.

The Lightning capped a run of 31 victories in 32 matches over the past two seasons with a 22-25, 25-9, 15-11 win over Evangel Family Christian Academy in the ACSC tournament championship match Oct. 16 at Faulkner University in Montgomery to claim another title.

Evangel freshman Elizabeth Ragland, who was named the ACSC tournament’s most valuable player, led the Lightning with 22 kills, 15 service aces and six blocks in the tournament.

Ellis called Ragland a “special player.”

“She’s only a freshman, but she’s a great leader,” Ellis said.

Meghan Byrd added 11 kills, nine service aces and 15 digs. Kate Foster chipped in a team-high 16 assists to go along with seven service aces.

Byrd and Rainey Ketcham joined Ragland on the all-tournament team.

The 2010 ACSC championship team included Ragland, Byrd, Foster, Ketcham, Mariah Lawrence, Bethany Carter, Allison Ellis, Emily Bahlman, Erica Williams, Melanie Smith and Abby Shirer. The Lightning were coached by head coach Dan Ellis and assistant coach Caprice Lawrence.