Kingwood volleyball comes up short at state

Kingwood's Kristen Boyd sets a ball in the AISA State Championship Oct. 23. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

Kingwood’s Kristen Boyd sets a ball in the AISA State Championship Oct. 23. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

MONTGOMERY — The Kingwood Christian School volleyball team’s road to the AISA state championship came up a little shorter than hoped, as the Lions fell in the semifinals to Tuscaloosa Academy, 3-1.

Tuscaloosa Academy jumped out to a 13-5 lead to start the contest. As quickly as the Lions cut into the lead, the Knights expanded it, opening a 19-11 lead on Kingwood.

The Lions then turned up the offense, using the serve game of Addy Moncreif to close the gap to 22-20. Kingwood continued to close, tying the contest at 23-all. The Kinghts held on, however, eking out the 25-23 set win.
TA once again opened the second set with a run, taking a 4-0 lead early. Kingwood whittled the lead down to 5-4 before TA used an 8-2 run to extend the lead to 13-6. Tuscaloosa held on, and clinched a 2-0 match advantage with a 25-11 set win.

The Lions opened the third set with 3-2 lead, extending their advantage to 9-6. A strong service game allowed TA to crawl back into the contest, and the Knights took an 11-9 lead courtesy of a 5-0 run. Kingwood regained the lead at 12-11 due in part to a service run by Anna Claire Brooks.
The Knights then recaptured the lead 14-13, before the Lions again wrestled the advantage back, 17-16. The Lions held off the Knights’ challenge down the stretch, staving off elimination with a 25-20 set win.

In the fourth set, the Lions once again got out to an early lead, this time 6-3 on a service run by Kirsten Boyd. The Knights again reeled in the Lions, tying the set at 7-all. Kingwood regained the lead at 9-8, before the Knights embarked on a 9-2 run.

The lead simply proved to be too large, and the Lions fell, 25-14.

“They out hustled us,” KCS head coach Tony Boyd said. “We had 50-percent of our players playing at 100-percent, and they had 100-percent of their players playing at 100-percent. The 50-percent (that didn’t give 100-percent) didn’t understand the urgency (of the game). I felt bad for the 50-percent giving 100-percent. There’s a lot of frustration.”

Despite the loss, Boyd said he was very proud of a young team.

“I’ve never (coached) a better group of girls,” he said. “I asked them to one, represent their families well, two, represent their school well and three, represent God well. They accomplished that. This is the best sports team I’ve ever had a chance to be a part of. No one had an ego, it was all team, and we (just) came up two games short.”

The Lion finished the season 32-1.