Inspired Chattanooga Christian Sweeps Notre Dame

Lady Chargers Clinch First Place In District Following Big Wednesday Win

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - by John Hunt

Chattanooga Christian and Notre Dame have built a really good rivalry in recent years, especially in volleyball.

Notre Dame had the dominant team for many years before the two teams split regular-season matches a year ago.

Chattanooga Christian has the upper hand in 2018 and clinched first place in the district on Wednesday night at Notre Dame’s Jack Steiner Gymnasium with a 3-0 win over the Lady Irish.

CCS improves to 29-8 overall and a perfect 9-0 in district play while Notre Dame falls to 20-6-2 overall and 6-2 in the district.

The Lady Chargers had eeked by in their first match at CCS a few weeks ago by a nail-biting 3-2 margin, so CCS coach Sarah Stutheit was expecting another knock-down, drag-out match in the Notre Dame gym.

The match was close at times, especially in the third set, but the Lady Chargers really put their best foot forward and played perhaps their best match of the season to win in straight sets by scores of 25-16, 25-20 and 25-23.

CCS lost a tough match at Soddy Daisy on Monday before getting back on track with a district win at Collegedale Academy on Tuesday.  The CCS girls made a vow to each other they were going to get plenty of rest following Tuesday’s match so they would be rested and ready to go with the first ball was served on Wednesday.

That plan worked to perfection.

“That loss on Monday at Soddy Daisy sort of kicked us in the tail.  We played much better at Collegedale last night, but we had that mindset tonight that we weren’t going to lose to Notre Dame,” Stutheit said shortly after the match ended.

“We fought hard from the first point and gave everything we had.  I’m pretty sure that was the best match we’ve played this season.  We played with confidence, effort and energy.  We knew that Notre Dame would bring a lot of energy with their fans, but we fed off our own energy.

“We’ve gotten a lot better since our first match with them, but we came out ready to play tonight.  Now we earned the right to host the district tournament and that is a big deal for us,” the CCS coach said with a smile.

The Lady Irish thrive on a strong service game and normally score a lot of points in that aspect alone.  They had a season-low two aces against the Lady Chargers and coach Dan Clotfelter pointed to that fact alone as the difference in the match.

“They passed very well as we only had two aces for the entire match.  We didn’t get them out of system enough and were on our heels a lot,” Clotfelter said later.

“I thought we hit the ball well at times, but we have to do a better job of getting the ball to our setter to get more swings.  I thought we played pretty good volleyball overall, but we’ve got to play better to beat Chattanooga Christian.  They played a great match and we have about two weeks to get ready for them again,” the Lady Irish coach added.

The match was close early as both teams basically traded points as there were five ties in the first 10 points.

 A block from Grace Logterman knotted the score for CCS at 10-10 before a kill from Summer Jones and a Notre Dame hitting error gave the visitors a 12-10 lead and caused Clotfelter to call his first timeout.

Back-to-back kills from McKenna Brown knotted the score for Notre Dame, but a serving error and five straight service points from Jones gave CCS a comfortable 18-12 lead and it never got much closer, the Lady Chargers taking the first set on a kill from A.J. Johnson.

Notre Dame led 4-2 in the second set on a kill from Jazzmyne Watkins before the Lady Chargers scored the next four points for a 6-4 lead and they never trailed again.

A block from Notre Dame’s Lindsey Burns made it 24-20 before Johnson closed the set with another of her match-high 16 kills.

Four kills from Brown in the early stages of the third set allowed Notre Dame to take a 9-7 lead before Stutheit called a timeout.

A kill from Logterman and then a block from the same gave the lead to CCS at 14-10.  A hitting error by the Lady Chargers tied the score once again at 18-18, setting the stage for a fabulous finish where the results could have gone either way.

Watkins had back-to-back kills late, the last one giving her team a 23-22 lead, but the Lady Chargers took the lead on kills from Jones and Johnson before winning the match when Notre Dame was called for a double hit.

Johnson had 16 kills to lead the Lady Chargers up front while Rachel Kay finished with 22 assists and 11 digs.  Lauren Kay had 15 digs with Jones adding 13 digs.  Emily Day had a dozen assists while Logterman finished with nine kills and three blocks.

Brown, Watkins and Mackenzie Johnson had 12, 11 and 10 kills respectively for the Lady Irish while Sarah Desai had 19 assists.  Ally Mildenberger had 24 digs while Mary Fillauer added 15 assists.

CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN STATS:

Jolie Adams – 2 blocks, 2 digs, 1 kill

Emily Day – 4 digs, 1 ace, 12 assists, 4 kills

Lauren Kay – 15 digs, 2 assists

A.J. Johnson – 16 kills, 1 block, 7 digs

Lauren Day – 7 digs

Summer Jones – 1 block, 13 digs, 2 kills

Rachel Kay – 11 digs, 1 ace, 22 assists, 1 kill

Abbey Massey – 1 dig, 6 kills

Grace Logterman – 3 blocks, 1 dig, 1 assist, 9 kills

Savannah Ricketts – 2 digs, 4 kills.

NOTRE DAME STATS:

McKenna Brown – 12 kills, 10 digs

Sarah Desai – 19 assists, 7 digs, 1 ace

Ally Mildenberger – 1 kill, 1 assist, 24 digs

Beth Voges – 1 dig

Gwen Jimenez – 8 digs

Mary Fillauer – 15 assists, 6 digs

Maggie Martin – 4 kills, 2 digs, 2 blocks

Lindsey Burns – 1 kill, 1 block

Jazzmyne Watkins – 11 kills, 3 digs, 1 assist, 1 ace

Mackenzie Johnson – 10 kills, 7 blocks.

(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)


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