Cornerstone falls in AISA semifinals
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor
MONTGOMERY — A few more points, and the Cornerstone Christian School volleyball team may have made one of the more miraculous comebacks in AISA state tournament history, as the Chargers fell 3-1, to Clarke Prep after a furious comeback that simply came up short.
The two teams took the court at Faulkner University looking to advance to the finals, and Cornerstone opened up with the first point of the match, but Clarke quickly took a 3-1 lead. Cornerstone countered to go up 5-4. Tied at 11-11,
Clarke then gained the momentum, using a 6-1 run to take a 17-12 lead. The Chargers then raced back into the contest on the service game of Kerri Garrett, using a 5-0 run to tie the game at 17-all. The two squads battled back-and-forth until Clarke seized a 21-20 lead, taking the contest, 25-22.
Cornerstone once again opened with a lead in set two, gaining a 6-3 lead to open the set. Clarke countered, tying the game at 7-7, before taking an 8-7 lead. The two squads either tied or traded the lead 15 times over the next eight points, with Cornerstone taking a 16-15 lead. The Chargers continued to stay a point ahead of the Gators, taking a 20-19 lead.
The Gators battled back, seizing a 24-23 lead, but a kill by Chargers’ middle Lindsey Greer evened the score at 24-24. The Gators were able to hold of the rally, securing a 26-24 set win and a 2-0 advantage in the match.
Facing elimination, the Chargers’ offense roared to life in the third set. Using the service game of Audrey Davis, the Chargers reeled off four unanswered points, eventually opening up an 8-2 lead. The Chargers extended the lead to 11-4 before the Gators made a comeback of their own, using a 6-3 run to bring the score to 14-10 in favor of Cornerstone.
It was as close as Clarke Prep got in the set, as the Chargers absolutely dominated the rest of the set to take a 25-13 win.
The fourth set turned into a shootout, as both teams fought for each point, with Clarke Prep trying to clinch a spot in the title match, and the Chargers trying to fend off their season ending.
Clarke opened with a 2-1 lead, but Cornerstone quickly countered to take a 7-3 lead. The Gators knotted the contest at 7-7, and used a 5-0 run to take a 12-7 lead. The Chargers answered the call, climbing back into the contest, tying the game at 19-19 and taking the lead a point later. A 3-0 run followed, and the Chargers found themselves two points away from forcing a fifth set. The Gators then went on a 5-0 run to tie the game at 24-all, and took the set and match with another 2-0 run, 26-24.
First year head coach Rudolph Frey said the result was not what was hoped, but the team had a great deal to build off of for next season.
“I’m just proud of all of them to make it this far,” he said. “They played their hearts out. We’ve got one senior graduating, so we’ve got a pretty young team. We’ve learned a lot this season, and be better next year.”
Stats were unavailable at press time. Check back with Shelbycountyreporter.com for updates.
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