Crusaders fall in regional final

Leading two sets to one Thursday night, the Columbus Christian volleyball team was well on its way to a second consecutive South Regional title.

Unforced errors and trouble serving in the next two sets allowed Pleasant View Christian to storm back upsetting the Crusaders on their home floor 25-20, 13-25, 18-25, 25-17, 15-10.

Falling in the first set, the Crusaders (16-6) rallied back winning the second set in decisive fashion before outlasting Prairie View in a hard-fought third set.

Columbus Christian dug itself an early hole in the fourth set, quickly falling behind 10-3. Prairie View kept the momentum going, stifling any runs the Crusaders tried to piece together and pulling out the set victory.

“What it came down to in those last two sets were our serves,” Columbus Christian coach Sarah Stair said. “We missed three of our first four serves in that fourth set, and that’s just killer. It was just really hard to bounce back.”

The momentum that Prairie View finished the fourth set with carried right over into the fifth and final set, pouncing on the Crusaders quick. Trailing 12-4, Columbus Christian was unable to overcome the early hole.

“The girls I felt at the end were playing their hearts out. They really did lay it all on the line,” Stair said. “The team I had this year worked really hard. With having four seniors on the team and having a lot of good leadership, we had a really fun time.”

Sabrina Herron’s 25 assists and 17 digs in the final led the Crusaders, while freshman Mayah Schundelmier contributed 18 kills and two blocks. Savannah Herron served five aces.

The Crusaders found themselves competing for the regional title after defeating Bloomington Lighthouse Christian Academy 25-20, 25-17, 25-21 in the semifinals earlier in the evening.

Sabrina Herron led the Crusaders with seven aces and seven kills, while also dishing out six assists. Savannah Herron added 19 digs, and Schundelmier and Hunnicutt each had two blocks.