Ontario Christian girls volleyball team rallies past Arrowhead Christian, extends winning league streak to 54 – Press Enterprise

ONTARIO — The streak lives on, but there were some moments of doubt for the Ontario Christian girls volleyball team during Tuesday night’s match.

Arrowhead Christian Academy was one point away from posting a sweep that would have snapped Ontario Christian’s 53-match winning steak against Ambassador League opponents. The Knights minimized their mistakes down the stretch and bounced back for a 20-25, 20-25, 26-24, 25-21, 15-11 win.

“We made adjustments, but the most important thing, as one of my players said, is we got back to our identity,” Ontario Christian coach Paige Liebhart said. “I think we were playing too tight at the beginning. We started playing looser and having fun. I believe that is what carried us through to the end.”

The reverse sweep by the Knights was particularly impressive given the fact senior outside hitter Marlee Arrington, one of the team’s kills leaders and captains, was seen walking out of the gymnasium mid-match after not starting the second or third set.

“I love Marlee, but I’m not going to talk about that right now,” Liebhart said.

Junior setter Crystal Briggs was one of the players who fueled Ontario Christian’s comeback. Briggs served up five aces over the final two sets, the final two helping the Knights grab a 6-0 advantage in the decisive game. Briggs also had two kills on dumps in that set to carry the team across the finish line.

“It was exciting to be the one back there serving to start that final set,” said Briggs, who finished with 21 assists. “I like the pressure and playing for my team. It was an amazing feeling to play an important part in helping my team win.”

Arrowhead Christian (13-5 overall, 1-1 in league) rarely trailed during the first two sets of the match. The Wilson sisters sparked the offense, with setter Morgan feeding the ball to her siblings Taylor and Jordyn on the pins. Morgan even got in the fun with three kills over those first two games.

Jordyn Wilson had eight kills during the third set, the final one giving the Eagles match point at 24-23. But the momentum quickly shifted following two hitting errors by Arrowhead Christian. Berylnn Brown then stepped up with a big kill to help Ontario Christian (14-9, 3-0) extend the match.

Arrowhead Christian had an 18-14 advantage in the fourth game after Sophie Allison served up back-to-back aces. And Ontario Christian still trailed 19-16 when Briggs went back to the line. The Knights rolled off six straight points to take the lead, half of those points coming on aces from Briggs. Sabri Johnson later registered the kill that sent the match to a fifth set.

“Even after the third set, I felt we still were in a good spot to put them away in four,” Arrowhead Christian coach Brittney Amey said. “But we were playing way too tight at the end and things slipped away. It was going to be tough to win in five because we let things slide mentally.”

Dakota Zieman hammered a kill for the first point of the fifth set, and Briggs followed with two straight aces to give the Knights a quick lead. Arrowhead Christian looked to rally, but Briggs dumped two balls over the net for points, including one that put the Knights on match point. Johnson put an exclamation mark on the comeback victory with her 12th kill of the match.

Tuesday’s match marked just the third time Ontario Christian has been pushed to a fifth game during its league winning streak

“Good on Arrowhead Christian for playing a such great match today,” Briggs said. “Losing those first two sets was a wake-up call for us, and we knew we were a better team than how we were playing. We just believed we could do this.”

Jordyn Wilson and Zieman tied for the match high with 20 kills apiece. Taylor Wilson and Allison added 16 and 13 kills, respectively, for Arrowhead Christian. Morgan Wilson and Johnson each had three aces for their respective teams.

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