It took half a game, but the Summit Christian Academy found their groove to capture the Class 2, District 15 trophy.
The No. 1 seeded Eagles battled to a 25-20 and 25-19 victory over No. 2 seeded Barstow in the finals held Oct. 29 at Summit Christian Academy.
“I’m very excited,” Summit Christian Academy senior outside hitter Alyssa Koeller said. “That’s really all I can say. I’m just excited.”
In the first game, the Knights took off to a 7-3 advantage before the Eagles knotted the score at 8-8. Barstow took off again, keeping a lead until Summit Christian Academy caught up at 16-16.
The score stayed close and with it tied at 19-19, the Eagles finally took a lead with an error by Barstow. Koeller got a kill, but her next spike went out of bounds, making the score 21-20.
Koeller got a kill again, and Barstow made an error to put Summit Christian Academy up 23-20. The Eagles finished the game with a kill by sophomore setter Keeli Shearer and another by Koeller.
The second game started off better for the Eagles as they climbed to an early 10-5 advantage.
“At first, I don’t think we were all the way prepared to play our hardest and then we really got our confidence and we played the way we know how to play,” Koeller said. “It really made a difference in the second half of the first game and in the second one.”
Summit Christian Academy kept the lead until Barstow knotted things up at 14-14. The Eagles battled back with a kill from sophomore outside hitter Madyson Harmon, an error on the Knights and an ace from Shearer.
With the Eagles ahead at 21-18, Barstow committed two errors to make the score 23-18. The Eagles made an error, but Barstow served the ball out of bounds and hit a kill into the net to end the game.
Now Summit Christian Academy, 19-8-4, moves on to the Class 2 sectionals. The Eagles face St. Paul Lutheran at 3 p.m. Nov. 2 at Bishop LeBlond. A win will put the Eagles in the quarterfinals against Cole Camp or Bishop LeBlond at 6 p.m.
“Our ultimate goal is to get to state,” Koeller said. “We have never gotten to state before. We really, really want to go to Cape Girardeau. We have Cape Girardeau posters in the hallway to remind us of that. That’s our ultimate goal.”