It was a stretch of games both Christian Heritage Academy (CHA) volleyball teams wished they could’ve emulated on into the latter portions of the season.
Middle school (4-5, 1-4) defeated Parkway in straight sets, 25-6, 25-21, at home four days into the month of September, then traveled to Temple Sept. 11 and won in three sets, 25-27, 25-22, 15-12. The Temple victory had marked its third consecutive victory for a team dripping with potential.
The games featured impeccable serving consistency that led to the victories, with Pearl Gordon going on a 19-point streak against Parkway and Autumn Ballagh gathering three aces. Against Temple, Evie Novak had eight kills, four aces, while Ballagh had five aces.
Varsity (0-10, 0-5), although it tallied no victories against the same opponents, did push the game against Parkway to extra sets, while Savannah Novak tallied five kills against Temple.
“[The teams are] learning and growing with every set,” head coach Christy Williams said in a note to CHA. “We are beginning to specialize our players in order to maximize their strengths.”
But since that span, the Knights have had a difficult go of things. Outside of varsity pushing Smith Mountain Lake Christian to five sets, neither team has extended a match past its allotted set number. But reasons exist for this being the case — the complexity of play being one of the primary reasons from Williams, who is taking liberties with a group that is trying to internalize her philosophies.
“The team is adjusting well to running a more advanced offense,” she added. “…Although it has been challenging, the girls are stepping up their game.”
With four games remaining on the schedule (two for middle school), the teams will look to battle for needed consistency at season’s close.