Volleyball: Chiefs, Saints capture tournament titles

After three, five-set matches earlier in the week, the Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach volleyball team took advantage of a last-minute invitation to fill in at the Wilson Hall tournament in Sumter, and the Lady Saints walked off with the tournament title.

After stumbling in its first match, Christian Acedemy (SCISA Class 2A) recorded six straight victories, including wins over Heathwood Hall (SCISA 3A), Wilson Hall (SCISA 3A) and Orangeburg-Wilkinson (SCHSL 4A), to reach the finals and earn the crown over Hilton Head Christian (SCISA 2A).

Senior Julia Markley was named to the All-Tournament team, and freshman Kaelyn Haldi had a .320 hitting percentage with 11 kills and 10 assists in the championship match. Senior Natalie Markley added 13 assists, and senior Chloe Parker hit .385 with 5 kills and 2 aces to secure the championship for the Saints.

* The North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team capped a big week in Region 7-4A play by flexing some muscle out of the Grand Strand area and winning the prestigious Lady Wildcats Invitational in Lexington.

The 24-team tournament featured some of the top teams in the state, including Lexington, Ashley Hall, Bishop England, James Island and Myrtle Beach.

The Lady Chiefs went 2-1 in pool play, beating Lexington JV and Airport before losing to Ashley Hall. The Chiefs would get the eighth seed going into the Gold bracket where it would face top-seeded Lexington. The Chiefs came back from a first set 24-26 loss to win 25-22 and 15-12 for a 2-1 win.

In the semifinal the Chiefs faced rival Myrtle Beach for the second time in four days after Myrtle Beach defeated Ashley Hall 2-1. The Chiefs got out to a fast start and was able to hold off Myrtle Beach in the first set 25-22. After an early Chief lead in set 2 the Seahawks settled down and came back to win 26-24 to force a tiebreaker set. Points were traded throughout the third set before North Myrtle was able to claim the hard fought 16-14 win and advance to the Gold final to face Bishop England.

In the first set final it was all North Myrtle winning 25-15. In set 2 it was all Bishop England who won by the same score of 25-15 and setting up a game 3 winner take all. The set stayed close until Bishop England took a 14-11 lead and appeared in control. After a big Sydney Bellamy kill for the sideout, sophomore libero Katelin Downey scored two on the serve to tie at 14-14. Points were traded back and forth until Chiefs had a match point at 17-16. Bellamy once again came through with an ace serve and the 18-16 third set win.

Photos courtesy of CAMB/NMBHS Athletics

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