How do you cap a great season?
The Faith Christian School volleyball team did it be placing second at the Christian Athletic League State Tournament Friday and Saturday at the Cambridge Armed Forces Reserve and Community Center.
The Saints, who finished the season with a 15-6 record, defeated Valley Christian of St. Croix Falls in their opening match at the tournament 3-1 Friday afternoon, then reached the title match by stopping Rochester Area Home School 3-0 Friday night.
Faith Christian, seeded No. 2 in the meet, lost to No. 1-seeded Cambridge Christian 3-0 in the championship match Saturday.
“We played two hard-fought, exciting matches to reach the finals,” said FCS Coach Mike Sohre. “Cambridge Christian has a powerful team and I knew we would have to be at our best to have a chance at pulling off an upset.
“We were a little tired from Friday’s matches and it showed. Cambridge, true to its nature, played very well and is a deserving champion.
“While we were disappointed with the loss, we’re thrilled with the season we had and our performance at the state tournament.”
Valley Christian, seeded fifth in the meet, tipped the Saints 25-23 in the opening set. Faith Christian then won the next three sets 25-20, 25-6, 25-18.
“The team didn’t panic – it was our first set of the tournament and it took awhile for us to get warmed up,” said Sohre. “Valley took a 12-5 lead in the second set before good serving and hitting by Faith Britton and Ashley Johnson go us going.
“Our passing and setting were keys in the win.”
Britton, a senior, was 10-11 serving and she had 20 digs and 21 kills while Johnson, a junior, was 14-15 serving and she had 22 digs and nine kills.
Junior Ashley Nordvik was 22-24 serving and had 18 digs while senior Lauren Freichels was 18-19 serving and had 23 digs and four kills. Seventh-grader Lauren Curott was 15-17 serving with five aces and she had four kills and 26 sets while sophomore Tiffany Crapser was 10-11 serving with four aces and she had 20 digs.
Faith Christian swept No. 3-seeded Rochester Area Home School 3-0. But, it wasn’t easy as FCS won each set by two points (25-23, 29-27, 25-23).
“This was probably the best match-up of two teams battling so hard that I’ve seen this season,” said Sohre.
The Defenders led throughout the first set until Britton scored on a kill to tie the set at 23-23. Johnson then served an ace to make the score 24-23 and the Saints won on a Rochester error.
“The girls showed their perseverance in that set,” said Sohre.
Neither team held more than a two-point lead in the second set until FCS moved in front 24-21. Rochester then moved ahead 25-24 before Johnson’s kill tied the score 25-25. Later, another Johnson kill gave the Saints a 29-27 win.
In the third set Faith Christian overcame an early Rochester lead and stayed in front, posting a 25-23 win.
Johnson was 18-20 serving with eight aces and she had 17 digs and four kills while Freichels was 14-16 serving with four aces and she had 33 digs and six kills.
Britton was 8-10 serving with three aces and she notched 18 digs and nine kills. Crapser was 12-12 serving with two aces and she had seven digs, Nordvik was 7-8 serving and had 25 digs and Curott was 8-12 serving with two aces and she had 15 sets.
Cambridge, which had a 19-1 record heading into the title match, won the first set 25-20, then followed with 25-14, 25-17 wins. It reached the finals by topping sixth-seeded Hope Christian 3-0 and fourth-seeded Immanuel Lutheran of Mankato 3-0.
Britton was 10-10 serving with three aces and she had 21 digs and five kills while Johnson was 10-12 serving with three aces and she had 20 digs and three kills. Freichels was 6-6 serving with 22 digs, Curott was 11-12 serving with three aces and Crapser was 6-6 serving and had eight digs. Nordvik was 6-7 serving and had 14 digs.
Britton and Johnson were named to the all-tournament team.
Faith Christian closed the regular season by defeated Redstorm of Detroit Lakes 3-0 Oct. 22. It was parents night and senior recognition night at FCS.