Although it was exciting to see the ACGC volleyball in the top fifteen in last week's IGHSAU rankings, it probably was short lived as the Chargers dropped a 2-1 decision to Coon Rapids-Bayard yesterday in the semifinals of the Charger Invitational. The loss snapped a nine match wining streak and leaves the team with a still glittering 16-2 record for the season.
The Chargers opened play yesterday at 9 AM with a 2-0 win over Audubon which was anything but a walk in the park. Maybe it was the early hour, but it took a while for the Chargers to get on track in set number one. Audubon raced out to a 9-2 lead before ACGC had time to fully awaken. The Wheelers maintained the lead until the Chargers tied it at 15 apiece. Audubon briefly regained the lead until a muffed dig by the visitors gave ACGC the lead at 18-17. Although the set was tied three more times, a big kill by Saige O'Brien gave the Chargers a one point lead at 21-20 before finishing off the Wheelers, 22-20. Once the local girls had the taste of victory, they responded with much better play in set number two and dominated in a 21-8 win over the Wheelers, with Alaina Bunde's kill finishing the set and match.
The Chargers picked up a second win with another 2-0 victory--this time over Colfax-Mingo. ACGC led throughout both sets, and were never seriously threatened in the 21-8 and 21-15 victories. Chloe Largent was especially effective at the net, coming up with numerous kills in the match.
The third match of the day was a bigger challenge for the Chargers as they faced a solid Glidden-Ralston team that came into the tournament with a 9-1 season record. ACGC took control early in the first set and never trailed in a 21-14 victory. Set number two also started out well for the Chargers as the girls took an early 10-4 lead. The Wildcats fought back to tie the score at 13 apiece before the home team retook the lead at 18-17 and again at 19-18. But that was the last of the scoring for the Chargers, as G-R scored the final three points of the set to win 21-19.
The decisive third set found ACGC trailing throughout until a tip by O'Brien hit the floor on the Wildcat side of the net to give the Chargers a 15-14 lead. O'Brien then served the final point to give her team the hard fought set and match win.
That set the stage for the semifinal match with Coon Rapids-Bayard, another team with just one blemish on its season record which included a twelve game winning streak. The first set found the Chargers getting off to a good start as they led 15-8 before CR-B made a five point run to make the score 15-13. The Crusaders took their first lead at 18-17 and and never trailed again to take the first set, 21-19.
The Chargers bounced back in set two as it trailed only once at 1-0 before going on to a 21-15 win. Bunde's defense at the net was notable as the sophomore came up with several blocks.
Unfortunately for the Chargers the third set was probably its poorest showing of the day as the Crusaders took control from the get go en route to a 15-8 win. Any ACGC hopes of playing in the finals were dashed with the loss to CR-B.
The semifinal loss meant that ACGC would face Glidden-Ralston again in the match for third place. The second contest with the Wildcats was much the same as the first as the Chargers came away with a close win, but this time in two sets rather than three.
The Chargers never trailed in set one, although it was close throughout before ACGC prevailed 21-18. Set two was a different story as the Wildcats took the lead early and led by a 15-13 score when Charger Kylie Young came to the serve. The Chargers put together a run of six points with Young serving to give ACGC a 19-15 lead it would not surrender. G-R got as close as 20-19, but the Chargers held on to win by a 21-19 score.
So, although there was no opportunity to play for the championship, the Chargers made a good showing and finished with a 4-1 record on the day. Charger hitter Chloe Largent was named to the six girl all-tournament team which included three members from tournament champion Underwood.
Hopefully, the good competition will help ACGC prepare for what will probably be its toughest match to date when Des Moines Christian comes to town on Tuesday. Both teams are 4-0 in the WCAC and the winner will no doubt have the inside track toward a conference title. Varsity action is schedueled to begin at 7 PM. Go Chargers!
Charger Statistical Leaders (this information will be posted when available)
Match scores: Kills Assists Digs Blocks Serving Aces
Audubon 20 8 Largent, 11 Stowe, 19 Laabs, 12 O'Brien, 2 Stowe, 5-5 Laabs, 4
ACGC 21 21 Young, 5 Largent, 6 Young, 6-7 O'Brien, 2
Col-Mingo 8 15 Largent, 12 Stowe, 14 Laabs, 8 Bunde, 1 Young, 10-10 Stowe, 4
ACGC 21 21 McClain, 1 Stowe, 9-10
G-R 14 21 14 Largent, 22 Stowe, 27 Stowe, 13 O'Brien, 6 Young, 16-18 Young, 1
ACGC 21 19 16 Laabs, 12 Bunde, 2 Laabs, 6-7 Largent 1
CR-B 21 15 15 Largent, 13 Stowe, 19 Laabs, 17 Bunde, 9 Largent, 7-8 4 with 1
ACGC 19 21 8 Stowe, 7 McClain, 4 Young, 6-7
G-R 18 19 Largent, 17 Stowe, 19 Laabs, 8 3 with 2 Kintz, 8-8 None
ACGC 22 21 Coffman, 5 Young, 13-14