The task of facing defending Class 1A champion Keith Country Day in Saturday’s the Westminster Christian Supersectional was already a daunting enough task for Harvest Christian.
An official’s error in incorrectly marking down the Lion’s rotation at the outset of the match made it impossible. By the time the mistake was corrected, the Lions had fallen behind by six points — the damage had been done.
Harvest Christian never fully recovered and for the third year in a row was stopped one step short of the state finals in Normal, falling 25-13, 25-18.
“I am so dissappointed,” Harvest Christian coach Kim Floyd said. “If they are the better team we can live with that, but you would like that to be determined by the girls and not by the referee.
“We were as loose as could be coming in, but that completely rattled us. If you think about it, with another sport like baseball, it’s like having your third baseman playing catcher and your catcher playing somewhere else and everybody out of position. It’s going to throw you completely off.”
The Lions (28-12) trailed 12-6 by time the mistake was finally corrected. Keith Country Day continued to roll from there. An eight-point service run by Adeja Lambert opened an insurmountable 22-10 advantage in Game 1.
The momentum carried over to Game 2 for the Cougars as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind the serving of Marisa Morgan and never trailed.
Keith Country Day (37-3) dominated play at the net throughout the match with a 25-11 kill advantage. Iman McGary led the Cougars attack with nine kills. Lambert added five kills. Morgan had 23 assists.
The Cougars’ defense held Harvest Christian standout Sydney Doby to just five kills.
“We are super excited,” Keith Country Day coach Lyn Cesario said. “We had a game plan and stuck to it. We knew we had to stay on Doby and take her out of the game as much as we could.”
The loss marks the end of a stellar career for Doby, who is headed to play at Grand Valley State next season.
“It’s very frustrating with what happened,” Doby said. “Overall, the season was a lot of fun and there is something special about being part of a small school community. I have really enjoyed playing here.”
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