Eagles soar past Warriors in championship match

Published 8:58 am Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...


Sports Correspondent

ASKEWVILLE – The stakes were high here Saturday when the Bethel Assembly Christian Academy (BACA) Eagles and the Ahoskie Christian School (ACS) Warriors squared off for the third time in the season.

Kaylee Jones (left) of Ahoskie Christian and Mallory Woodard (right) of Bethel Assembly Christian Academy battle above the net during Saturday’s championship game of the Mid-Atlantic Christian Academy Association 1A Conference Tournament. A.A. Imaging / Andre Alfred

The two local rivals split their regular season meetings, so it was only fitting for them to settle the stalemate in the championship game of the Mid-Atlantic Christian Academy Association 1A Conference Tournament.

The Eagles, on their home court, edged the Warriors, 3-2, in five sets to win the first place trophy.

Early in its first regular season meeting against Ahoskie Christian School, Bethel Assembly Christian Academy beat the Warriors (3-1).

In their second meeting, ACS hosted the Eagles and gained a measure of revenge with a 3-2 victory.

Both teams went on to dominate within their respective divisions and emerge as the top seeds in the tournament.

In the tourney, BACA made quick work of their counterparts in the North Division. They swept Unity Christian Academy from Chocowinity (3-0), and Mount Calvary Christian Academy from Hookerton (3-0).

ACS glided its way through the ranks, beating Heritage Christian Academy from Zebulon (3-0), and Bethel Christian from Hampton VA (3-1).

In Saturday’s championship match, the bleachers and walkways were saturated with cheering fans as ACS and BACA stepped on the court.

Bethel Assembly Christian Academy senior Kaydee Beachboard was selected as the MVP for the conference tournament. A.A. Imaging / Andre Alfred

ACS started the first set of the championship serving first. Layla Farmer’s jump serve exploited the BACA serve return defense as she rattled off five points before a side out, giving the Warriors a 5-1 one lead early in the first set.

Carly Piland’s service contributed three more points to the Warriors’ caused and forced the Eagles to burn a timeout to regroup. Finally, a point side out ended Piland’s service rotation with the Warriors leading 13-2.

The Eagles scraped up points where they could as ACS totally dominated the first set, 25-15.

In the second set, the Eagles seemed a little more confident in their gameplay. Even though ACS stayed close, it was the Eagles’ resiliency that kept them ahead and gave them 25-20 win over the Warriors.

The third set was all out war as both teams were firing on all cylinders. The largest lead of this set was only four points, with four ties. Mistakes were crucial and serves vital. But once again the Eagles pushed forward and edged the Warriors, 26-24.

In the fourth set, the ACS front line took control of the net, dropping returns in unoccupied areas of the Eagles defense. Their frontline attack overwhelmed the BACA and gave ACS a 25-18 victory, which tied the match at two sets apiece.

In the last and final set, the Eagles came out with the guns blazing, rattling off five points with Kaydee Beachboard’s serves giving the Eagles a 5-0 lead before a point side out.

The Warriors seemed out of sync as they struggled to return volleys. Eventually they warmed up, but it was too late. BACA was in rhythm and commenced to rattle off point after point en route to winning the set 15-7 to claim the Mid-Atlantic Christian Academy Association 1A Conference Championship.