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The Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg volleyball team split four matches in the Kentucky Christian School Athletic Association state tournament, held Friday and Saturday at the Kentucky Basketball Academy in Lexington.
The Lady Rams began the two-day event with an impressive win over Tabernacle Christian from Somerset. Consistent serves from eighth-grader Nancy Lee Holt, who served five straight, and sophomore Shaylyn Burton were pivotal for the win. Strong defense from senior Nikki Bowman and seventh-grader Brette Elliott helped seal up the first-game win, 22-20.
The second game of the match had Tabernacle winning 21-15, despite Elliott serving six in a row and some strong defensive moves by eighth graders Aigul Wilson and Abby Perry.
The Lady Rams came back strong for the tie-breaker. Burton made two kills and the team came together for strong defensive play. Freshman Sydney Peyton sealed the win by serving five in a row.
The second match of the day had the Lady Rams facing a strong team from Elizabethtown Christian Academy. CAL lost the match in consecutive games, 21-13 and 21-11.
“The girls played a great game this morning, but just couldn’t bring it together for tonight’s game,” Coach Wendi Etherington said.
Saturday morning, the Lady Rams came back strong with a hard-fought win over Belmont Christian Academy from Morgantown. The first game had the Lady Rams and the Hawks with a tied score six times.
The Hawks pulled away with a win with three straight serves from freshman Katherine Flener, with a final score of 21-18 Hawks.
The Lady Rams came to win the second game. Burton started the team out with three straight aces. Tied 11-11, the team fought to regain the lead. Holt, the team's setter, passed to Burton for several decisive spikes.
Elliott and Bowman added points with several saves.
The game would be tied four more times, before the Lady Rams finally pulled out a 23-22 win.
The third game in the match was all CAL. Burton's service gave CAL an 8-2 lead. The team worked well defensively, holding the Hawks to only five points. The game ended with six strong serves by Wilson, an eighth-grader. “When I asked my girls to come out and give 125 percent, they did just that,” said Etherington.
The last match of the tournament had the Lady Rams facing Christian Light from Danville. The younger Rams struggled to return the powerful serves from the four Danville Eagles seniors.
Elliott led the Rams to take the lead, 11-8, with seven straight serves in game one. Sophomore Tesa McKinney added two points with returns. The Eagles soon tied the game with three strong serves. The second game of the set had the Rams down 8-2 at the start, and the Lady Rams were never able to tie the game. The Eagles won the match, 21-18 and 21-14.
“I have a young team this year with Nikki Bowman being the only senior, so I am really excited for the younger girls to get the opportunity to play at the state tourney,” said Etherington. “It has been a great experience for our team.”
Head coach Tefany Bleuel added, “The majority of our team consists of seventh- through 10th-graders. This will only make them better in years to come. I am very proud of the hard work they have put in and I am sure it will show next season.”