CCHS gets long-awaited county championship

History was made during the 2018 Chilton County Volleyball Tournament, as the Chilton County Tigers defeated the Isabella Mustangs 25-20, 20-25, 15-13 on Oct. 6.

It marked the first win for the Tigers in the modern era of the county tournament, which was reestablished roughly 15 years ago.

During that time, CCHS had endured a lot of second place finishes, but was unable to get over the hump until this year.

“We’ve been working on being able to finish and have enough endurance to push through and fight,” CCHS head coach Keeley Yeargan said. “I’m very proud of our girls today, because they showed it all.”

CCHS grabbed the advantage with a 25-20 win in the first game, which was capped off by tournament MVP Jordan Ray getting back-to-back kills to end the set.

“My hitting is what I’m most proud of,” Ray said. “I’ve definitely improved over the years. It just takes plenty of practice.”

However, Isabella’s Elizabeth Alstott shaped a shot down the line and Noelle Fjeldstad hit a shot through the block attempt of Kiara Steele down the stretch to help the Mustangs force a third game with a 25-20 victory of their own in the second game.

The tournament use a best-of-three format, where there is even less room for error than the typical five-set format.

“You’ve got to jump on it and jump on it fast,” Yeargan said.

The Tigers did just that and played from the lead, although it was slight, for much of the deciding game.

Jaclyn Crumpton and Steele each stood out with their play around the net in the third game and throughout the tournament.

A kill by Steele put CCHS up 9-7, and the Tigers finished strong with a 15-13 win.

“This is a very close team,” Ray said. “We constantly work on it [passing], because a good pass leads to a set and a good set leads to a good hit.”

The county tournament is a goal of every county team, but only CCHS gets to check it off the list following the victory.

“We’ve taken over Jemison, and now our biggest thing is to take over Isabella,” Yeargan said.

The Mustangs and Tigers meet again with CCHS hosting on Oct. 16.

The CCHS roster is made up of seven seniors that each played a role in helping the Tigers make history.

“They all hold some type of leadership role,” Yeargan said. “Whether that is on the bench cheering, keeping their endurance on the court or just keeping everyone together.”

Despite the loss, Isabella earned runner-up in the latest version of the county tournament, and have won seven of the last nine.

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