The Augusta Prep Lady Cavaliers hoped to use their role as host of the 2012 Class AAA Georgia Independent School Association Volleyball Tournament as a springboard to a state championship.
After defeating Heritage in three sets Friday morning, the team was knocked out one step shy of the finals by Calvary Christian, the 2011 runner-up, in four games Friday night.
The Lady Cavaliers finished with a 19-8 record for the year.
The Augusta Prep squad was too much for Heritage, recording 25-8, 25-18, 25-18 wins.
The team played solidly against Calvary Christian, but the Lady Knights’ defense and the overall prowess of senior Mary McCarty were too much to handle.
Calvary Christian (17-4) was ahead most of game one and held on for a 25-18 win as McCarty recorded eight kills.
The Lady Knights jumped out to a 15-4 lead in game two and didn’t look back, winning 25-10.
Already with three blocks and three kills, McCarty started serving with the third game tied at six. She would add three aces and two service winners to her total as the Lady Knights’ lead grew to 13-7. She would finish with six kills for the game.
The Lady Cavaliers did not fold, however.
Hannah Masiongale won three of her first four serves with aces to bring the Lady Cavaliers back to 13-11. Trailing 15-12, Shelby Hamilton served three aces and a service winner, and along with a Lady Knights’ error and Rachel Muehlfeld kill, the Lady Cavaliers forged ahead 18-15. The teams battled back and forth until the Lady Cavaliers took a 23-21 lead on Brooke Stevens’ kill. Augusta Prep led 24-22, but the Lady Knights tied it once more at 24. A hitting error and a Masiongale ace gave the Lady Cavaliers the 26-24 win.
In the fourth game, the Lady Knights proved to be too much, winning 25-17 and moving to the tournament’s championship round.