Three-peat: Lightning win third title

Published 11:05 am Monday, October 10, 2011

Evangel Christian School volleyball team members include, back, assistant coach Carli Linton, Kierson McGriff, Anna Byers, Erica Williams, Caroline Joiner, Liz Ragland and head coach Caprice Lawrence; front, Kate Ragland, Ali Wren, Kate Foster, Bethany Ragland and Erin Morris. (Contributed)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Evangel Christian School established its status as a powerhouse in Alabama Christian Sports Conference volleyball two years ago with the school’s first ever state championship.

The Lightning have done nothing to harm that reputation the past two years. Evangel Christian claimed its third consecutive ACSC championship Oct. 8 following a 25-16, 25-13 win over Evangel Family Christian Academy in the title match.

“I am really proud of how well they work together as a team and support each other,” said first-year Evangel Christian coach Caprice Lawrence. “They genuinely work as a team and everyone is ready to let another player on the court and take their time on the bench. ”

Kate Foster and Elizabeth Ragland were each named first-team all-conference following the championship season. Kierson McGriff and Erica Williams were selected second-team all-conference.

Ragland and McGriff, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player, were each named to the all-tournament team.

Evangel Christian won three matches on its way to the championship match. Evangel Christian defeated The Rock 25-6, 25-8 before topping Evangel Family 25-18, 25-17 in the first meeting between the two squads in the tournament. The Lightning’s 25-12, 25-12 win over New Life Christian sealed a rematch with Evangel Family in the title match.

McGriff led the Lightning with 29 kills in the tournament. McGriff added 26 digs and 16 service aces.

Ragland finished with 17 kills, 17 digs and 20 service aces. Williams contributed seven kills, four digs and 16 service aces. Foster finished with four kills, nine service aces, 22 digs and 25 assists.

Erin Morris registered 10 digs and a team-high 30 assists. Anna Byers finished with three kills and nine digs. Ali Wren recorded seven digs.

Lawrence also singled out Caroline Joiner, Kate Ragland and Bethany Letson for their effort off the bench.

“They subbed in and out with excellent plays,” Lawrence said. “The team as a whole plays very well with the starting six and subs.”