ACA's past, present too much for Lady Tigers in sub-state

Published 5:37 pm Monday, October 30, 2006

Tradition was on Alabama Christian Academy's side. So was the present.
Both proved to be too much for the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers to overcome, as they dropped a 25-13, 25-16, 25-16 decision in Thursday's Class 4A sub-state round in Montgomery.
The win sends ACA (27-9) back to its usual spot in the state tournament where it came away champions as recently as 2002 and 2003. Meanwhile T.R. Miller, which had its deepest advancement in the postseason, ended its campaign with a 17-13 record.
While the Lady Tigers were able to hang with ACA in terms of defensive points scored, they were unable to match the offensive blows ACA delivered.
Only two of the Lady Tigers 13 points in the first set were supplied by their offense. T.R. Miller and ACA traded defensive points on their first three rotations where Brittany Watson, Shandreka Foster and Leslie Nalty posted kills.
The Lady Eagles started to find their offensive groove over next three rotations where a trio of points by Grace Boutwell, two by Christina Hayes and a pair of aces and five points Carlie Ainsworth suddenly put ACA in control with a 16-7 lead.
Watson tried to keep T.R. Miller within striking distance, as her four defensive kills for points, a missed ACA serve and a service point by Nalty trimmed the gap to 18-11.
Any time T.R. Miller was able to generate a little run, a missed serve would usually nullify it. The Lady Tigers had two of their four missed serves over their last two rotations. Those misses combined by a four-point string by Emily Sandlin was enough for the Lady Eagles to close out the opener.
Set two followed a similar pattern. T.R. Miller was able to trade defensive points, but managed just four points from its offense.
While the Lady Tigers got an early defensive block by Foster, a defensive kill by Watson and two missed ACA serves, the Lady Eagles got an ace and two points by Ainsworth, an ace and three points by Becky Bowden and another ace and three points by Boutwell to open up a 12-4 lead.
Rachel Bostic was the only T.R. Miller with more than one offensive point in the set, as her service point followed by an ace narrowed ACA's advantage to 14-10.
T.R. Miller drew even closer when a block by Foster on a service by Morgan Hubabrd trimmed the Lady Eagles' cushion to just 16-13.
ACA quickly regained the momentum with a defensive point, a pair of aces by Christian Hayes and a kill and a block by Sandlin that stretched the lead up to 21-13. The Lady Eagles were able to finish off the set on their next rotation.
T.R. Miller's biggest lead of the match came in the finale when a pair of blocks by Foster and an ace and additional point by Michal Hubbard put the Lady Tigers out in front 4-0.
The next two ACA rotations would prove to be fatal for T.R. Miller. A defensive block by Sandlin followed by a three-point string by Hayes put the Lady Eagles up 5-4. The biggest blow came on the ensuing rotation when a pair of aces and six total points by Bowden took ACA's advantage up to 13-5.
The Lady Tigers had a couple of small charges left in it. A defensive kill by Watson and a trio of points by Bostic narrowed the gap to 18-13.
T.R. Miller pulled a little closer on its next rotation when a defensive point and a kill by Foster n a serve by Michal Hubbard brought the Lady Tigers to within 19-15. Hubbard's point was the last offensive point T.R. Miller could manage. The Lady Tigers had a pair of missed serves on their last three rotations and a three-point string by Bowden sent ACA on its way to the state tournament.
Despite the setback that ended her team's season, Peacock said her team came a long way.