For the second year in a row, Heritage got the best of Shalom’s girls volleyball team in the Mason-Dixon Christian Conference championship. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
There's just something about Heritage.
Shalom Christian's girls volleyball team didn't have many blemishes on its record this season. But the majority of them came from Heritage, and all of that came to a head on Saturday afternoon in the Mason-Dixon Christian Conference championship.
For the third time this season and the sixth time in a row, Heritage got the best of the Flames, 3-0. The win secured the second straight MDCC title for the Eagles (22-2).
"Today was pretty frustrating because we had three really great games in the past couple weeks against really tough teams," Shalom senior Haley Bricker said. "To end it on this one was frustrating."
Out of the gate, the Flames (16-4) looked poised to take down the team that ousted them this time a year ago. Shalom started the match on a roll, building up a 9-3 lead and forcing Heritage to take an early timeout. Out of the break, the Eagles dug themselves back into the match and finally took a lead on a Maelynne Patey ace, 17-16.
"Normally, we play pretty clean, but today, we had some girls that were a little bit down," Heritage coach Young-Sook Anderson said. "I think it was a lot of nervousness because of the championship game."
But Heritage settled in well, and after taking that first-set lead, the Eagles never looked back. They won the three sets, 25-21, 25-14 and 25-18, respectively.
The Eagles boasted a pair of really strong hitters that made it tough for Shalom to defend. Mikaylah Hoy led Heritage with 19 kills, and Chloe Prejean was right behind with 17.
"They have really strong hitters," Shalom assistant coach Susan Goetz said. "They hit hard, and they come quicker than anyone else in the league. We needed to be a half-second faster, and we were slow tonight."
Bricker and Lauren Stains put up fine offensive performances, splitting 24 kills evenly, but Shalom's defense just couldn't keep up. The Flames finished with 38 dig errors.
"We need to pass well, and that didn't work very well," Goetz said. "There were a lot of unforced errors this evening. We had a really hard game last night against Grace. The girls fought really hard and were up, and whenever we started losing (today), they just couldn't pull it back together."
Three of the Flames' four losses this season, and all three last season, were against Heritage.