DIVISION II-A: Concord claims State Runner-up
Concord Christian School and St. George’s proved they were evenly match from the state tournament’s opening match.
CCS won the Division II-A state tournament opener against St. George’s in five sets, the first of which went a combined 64 points.
And while the two played a tight match again on Thursday in the state championship, St. George’s had the upper hand late. The Lady Gryphon knocked off CCS: 25-27, 29-27, 25-20, 25-20.
The Lady Lions (30-10) trailed 15-11 in the final set and cut the deficit to 19-18 on a kill by Annabell Sulish. But St. George’s made the final surge necessary to clinch.
Concord Christian finished state runner-up for the second consecutive season but should contend again in 2020, as it boasts one of the area’s top talents in sophomore Sulish and that it didn’t have a senior in the starting lineup Thursday.
Sulish finished with 29 kills and 30 points against St. George’s (30-10), a state champion for the third time in program history.
Emma Meyer added 44 assists. Karson Brock had 18 digs, and Mikayla Profeta had 15.5 points and 11 kills.
St. George’s senior Annika Thompson was the match MVP with nine kills, 31 assists, 12 digs and three blocks. St. George’s will lose three senior starters to graduation off its lineup from today.
TO SEE PHOTOS FROM CONCORD’S STATE TITLE MATCH, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.
DIVISION II-AA: Catholic falls to Briarcrest in state finale
The Catholic volleyball team knew the task at hand Thursday.
Win, and the Lady Irish would not only become state champions for the first time since 2016 but they’d also be the first in-state program to beat defending state-champion Briarcrest since 2017.
They came close.
But after winning the second set and jumping out to a nice lead in the third, Briarcrest (39-4) did Briarcrest things to win another Division II-AA state crown — their eighth state title in program history.
They defeated Catholic, 3-1.
Meanwhile, Catholic (27-8) was making its fifth consecutive state finals appearance, though the previous four came in Division I, Class AA. The Lady Irish got a preview of Briarcrest on Wednesday, dropping a morning contest to them 17-25, 22-25, 25-20, 24-26.
But that didn’t deter Catholic from challenging the Lady Saints again. After dropping the opening set Thursday at MTSU, 18-25, the Lady Irish rebounded to take Set 2 by a convincing 25-17 count. They then jumped to a 10-6 advantage in the third set.
Briarcrest finally flexed its muscles, though, against hard-charging Catholic, winning the third and fourth sets, 25-23 and 25-22.
Catholic sophomore Grainne McGrath finished with 11 kills and 13.5 points. Freshman Isabella Amet had 10 kills and 10.5 points. Devyn Dunn, a freshman, had 33 assists.
Catholic should be contenders again in 2020, as they graduate only two senior starters (Maya Alves, Carlee Hart) and return a wealth of talent including Class of 2021 Lady Vols commitment Cassie Kuerschen (31 digs on Thursday).