The Augusta Prep girls volleyball team will play for a state volleyball championship in front of a partisan crowd Saturday.
Playing host to the 2013 GISA Class AAA state volleyball championship, the Lady Cavaliers beat Mount de Sales Friday morning in the quarterfinals and the Young Americans Christian Lady Eagles in the semifinals Friday afternoon.
It is their first appearance in the state final since 2008.
The Lady Cavaliers (31-3) will face Trinity Christian at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Two of the team's three losses have come against Trinity Christian, the two-time defending GISA AAA state champion, but head coach Rich Bland still likes his team's chances.
"I'd say if they play like that, we have a great shot at a state title," said Bland after the Young Americans Christian game.
While they swept the Lady Eagles (24-7) in three games, it was a hard-fought win for the Lady Cavaliers.
The game of the match came in the first game as both teams saved multiple game points, with the Lady Cavaliers finally winning, 32-30, on a one of Brooke Stevens' nine kills.
"We did our best when our best was needed," said junior middle hitter Margaret Cavanaugh, who led the Lady Cavaliers with 11 kills.
Bland said Stevens, who has a herniated disk in her back, gave the Lady Cavaliers an added offensive weapon from the outside in addition to praising his whole team.
"All the girls played so well," Bland said.
Savina Patheja had 10 kills, Hannah Masiongale had 32 assists and Cavanaugh had four aces.
The Lady Cavaliers won Game 2, 25-20, then finished off the Lady Eagles 25-17.
In the 10 a.m.quarterfinal, Augusta Prep defeated Mount de Sales, 25-15, 25-18, 26-24.
Cavanaugh led the Lady Cavaliers with 12 kills and six aces while Patheja had nine kills and four aces. Masiongale had 23 assists and Herrington Murray had nine digs.
The third and final game was back-and-forth the whole way and was tied at 23. Cavanaugh's emphatic kill gave the Lady Cavaliers a 24-23 lead, but Mount de Sales tied it right back. Cavanaugh then finished off the match with kills on consecutive points.