Keith Country Day ends it for Harvest Christian again
Harvest Christian senior star Sydney Doby saw her brilliant high-school volleyball career end Saturday night.
She was disappointed, but was even "more mad."
The Lions lost in the supersectional for the third consecutive season and for the second straight year lost to Keith Country Day. This time it was a 25-13, 25-18 victory for the defending state champion Cougars in the Class 1A Westminster Christian supersectional.
"We played probably one of our worst games of the season out there," Doby said. "The first (13) points of the game we were really shaky and nervous because the down ref put us in the wrong rotation and then she changed it on us."
Harvest Christian coach Kim Floyd turned in her rotation before the opening game started. According to Floyd and Doby, the referee on the floor moved the Lions players out of the rotation turned in to start the match. After Doby served with the game 8-5 and Keith Country Day scored on the play, the down ref stopped the game and put the Lions back in their normal rotation. Two points later, Doby was back at the service line.
"This is an awful way for the girls who have worked so hard to finish," a clearly frustrated Floyd said. "It really affects everything. Everything is lined up so particular as far as serve receive because there are some people who you can't cross."
The Lions (28-12) were trailing 8-5 after Doby's first time serving when the error was corrected. The Cougars (37-3), who will play Sciota West Prairie in the state semifinals at Redbird Arena in Normal Friday morning, outscored Harvest Christian 17-8 from that point. But the Lions already were out of sync.
The lineup was correct to start the second game and was more competitive, but the Lions were never closer than two points after trailing 5-3. The Cougars led by as many as 9 twice. A Doby ace got Harvest Christian within 5, 23-18. But an Adeja Lambert kill and a hitting error from the Lions ended the match.
"If they are the better team, great," Floyd said. "But let the girls figure it out and go at in the court."
Keith Country Day also beat the Lions twice during the regular season. The Cougars had just too many attacking options. Iman McGary finished with 9 kills. Lambert added 5 and Ali Nicolosi had 4.
Doby, who is heading to Grand Valley State, finished with 4 kills. She helped the Lions to three consecutive sectional championships, but never got to take that elusive trip to state.
"I love my school. I love the fan support," Doby said. "Having a wild crowd behind us makes the game really fun. I've really enjoyed my four years at Harvest. It's been a blast."