Hilton Head Christian Academy’s state championship dreams once again were dashed in the SCISA 2A volleyball finals, as the Eagles lost to perennial power Spartanburg Christian in the title match for the second year in a row.
The Eagles dropped a 3-1 (30-28, 25-20, 22-25, 25-15) decision to the Warriors, who claimed their 14th state title in the past 16 seasons.
An emotional first set established the tone for the evening, and it didn’t favor the Eagles. After leading for most of the first set and serving to close out the set at 24-21, HHCA let the Warriors claw back into the set and eventually claim a 30-28 victory.
“That sucked the energy out of us and it took half of the second set to mentally recover,” HHCA coach Steve DeSimone said. “We charged late in the second set but fell short. The late charge trickled over to set 3.”
The Eagles charged to an 8-0 lead in the third set and held on to take the set 25-22 to prolong the match, but their rally ran out of steam in the fourth set.
After the match, DeSimone said he plans to step down after 10 seasons coaching the Eagles and hand the reins to junior varsity coach Drew Dale.
“Coach Dale should be in pretty good shape next season with this group of girls,” DeSimone said, noting the Eagles will return Region Player of the Year Ady O’Grady, junior middle hitter Dior Shelton, outside hitter Kate Booth, and several other young players who played key roles this season.
“It didn’t end the way we wanted,” he added, “but it was still a great run.”