Champs, Again! Three-peat for Trinity Christian
AUGUSTA — They say sequels never live up to the original. But that’s just in the movies.
In high-school sports, three state championships of any kind lends itself to another term — one called a ‘dynasty.’
Trinity Christian’s volleyball program officially cemented itself with that title after claiming its third consecutive GISA Class AAA championship on Saturday, this time dominating host Augusta Prep on its own home court minus one of the Lady Lions top seniors in a 3-1 victory.
Setting the tone with a 25-16 victory in the opening game and then reset the serving order for games three and four en route to 25-17 and 25-22 efforts as Trinity Christian capped off an undefeated 28-0 season with the last of three tournament victories over a two-day span.
“I thought they played us hard. But I felt like we were in control of the match,” said Trinity head coach Joe Camp, who earned his fourth championship as a coach, the other coming with Whitewater in the GHSA. “The first one here was special. But this one had a very different feeling for me cause it felt the most satisfying.”
Calling this season a bit of a “surprise,” the Lady Lions managed to reload after losing four of last year’s five All-State players to graduation. They equally stayed the course in Friday’s semifinals and Saturday’s title match while playing without a key senior in Natalie Sisler, who was unable to continue following an ankle injury.
Yet Trinity Christian grabbed early momentum in Game One with a 13-2 run against Augusta Prep and then quickly responded when the Lady Cavaliers took their first game against the Lady Lions in three meetings this season, the first two coming as sweeps by Trinity in the regular season.
“We didn’t pass nearly as well and we didn’t really play as good defensively, so in the second set I made an adjustment with how we stacked our serving order,” Camp said. “I put our better blockers on the front row first. I felt like that made a big difference.”
Along with 2012 All-State returning senior Alex Huber and senior setter Jordan Jones, Saturday’s lineup was a mix of veterans and newcomers that came on strong as the season continued.
They included freshman outside hitter Cheyenne Hayes, who “was a beast” while helping lead the offense against Augusta Prep, as well as three sophomores, Kelsey Richards, Chasey Mitchell and Francie Hutcheson.
Ashley Caldwell, a standout three-sport athlete, also helped allow Camp to juggle the lineup in the absence of Sisler, a top middle-blocker.
“Some of our younger players really impressed me with their improvement,” said Camp.