Lions sweep Chargers in volleyball match

Kingwood Christian School senior Casey Whitmer attacks the Cornerstone Christian defense in the Lions' 25-16, 25-16, 25-12 win over the Chargers on Aug. 20. (Reporter Photo/Wesley Hallman)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

COLUMBIANA — Kingwood Christian School volleyball coach John Jones has seen enough matches through the first week of the season to call his squad a contender for the Alabama Independent Schools Association Class 2A championship.

When the Lions are playing well, as they did in a 25-16, 25-16, 25-12 win on the road Aug. 20 at Cornerstone Christian, the possibilities are endless.

Consistency is most important, Jones said.

“We’ve got a good chance, Jones said. “The girls have worked hard. If we can be consistent, we’ll be ok.”

Kingwood Christian’s imposing front line dominated against the Chargers in the sweep. Katie Allen Etheridge and Madelyn Pearce led the Lions (5-3) with four kills each in the victory, while fellow front-line standout Casey Whitmer chipped in two kills.

Pearce added a team-high five service aces, Whitmer contributed four service aces and Etheridge chipped in three service aces. Sloane Pickett added four service aces.

Etheridge helped the Lions take control midway through the second game in the match against Cornerstone Christian after registering one kill and three service aces during a 7-0 scoring run by Kingwood Christian, which broke a 9-9 tie and lifted her team to a 25-16 win in the set.

Etheridge posted three kills in the final game, a 25-12 victory, to help the Lions clinch the match.

While the front-line standouts have been impressive this season, Jones said a lot of the credit goes to Blair Holsombeck, who is playing the setter position for the first time. Holsombeck served up four assists in the victory over the Chargers.

“It’s a team effort,” Jones said.

Tamera Kirksey and Lindsey Sims led the Chargers (0-1) with four kills each.

Kirksey posted a team-high four service aces, while Sims finished with two service aces. Amber Johnson finished with three kills and one service ace.

Cornerstone Christian coach Cyndi Sims was pleased with her team’s effort in its season opener. Sims said the program added eight players during the offseason, which will help the Chargers take a step forward this season.

“We have a stronger team this year,” Sims said.