Cornerstone falls in heartbreaker to Bessemer in state finals
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
MONTGOMERY — Mere inches separated Cornerstone Christian from the AISA Class A volleyball state championship.
Up 14-11 in the fifth set of the championship match against Bessemer Academy held at Faulkner University Oct. 20, a shot returned from the Chargers landed just outside the court to give Bessemer new life, and ultimately led to a 5-0 run for the Rebels. When all was said and done, the Rebels took down Cornerstone, 16-14, and took the match, 3-2.
The young Chargers squad battled back from a dropped first set, as the Rebels took the opener, 25-23.
In the second set, Cornerstone once again fell behind, this time 2-1, but came back to take a 6-2 lead. Bessmer answered with a run of its own, taking a 10-9 lead. The two squads swapped the lead four more times, with Cornerstone taking a 17-16 lead. The Chargers held off the Rebels, taking a 25-23 win and tying the match at 1-1.
The third set saw the Chargers jump out to a 9-7 lead early. A 7-0 run by Cornerstone gave them a 16-7 lead. Bessemer Academy could only muster six more points, to the Chargers’ nine, as CCS took a dominating 25-13 win in the set.
In the fourth set, Bessemer Academy took a 3-1 lead to start, but Cornerstone answered with a 4-1 run to tie the game. The rest of the set was a back and forth affair, with both team tying at 12-12. An 11-5 run put Bessemer ahead, 23-16. Just as it seemed the match was all but over, the Charger raced back into the set with a 6-1 run. The Chargers fell just short in their comeback, 24-26, and set the stage for a winner-take-all fifth set.
In the fifth set, the Chargers opened up a 5-2 lead. The Rebels came back to take an 8-7 lead. The Chargers answered by taking the lead, 10-8. The teams battled to a 10-10 tie, with Bessemer taking an 11-10 lead. Cornerstone fought back, using a 4-0 run to take a 14-11 lead. The Chargers sat at game point, until the aforementioned shot went just outside the line to set up the Bessemer comeback.
CCS head coach Cyndi Sims said she was proud of her team’s effort.
“They played their hearts out,” she said. “In the end, they just got outscrapped.”
Stats were unavailable at press time. Please check back with ShelbyCountyReporter.com for updates.