BLANCHARD — Community Christian made a 3-0 sweep of Oklahoma Christian School more dramatic than coach Melody Steelman would have liked.
Still, the Royals advanced to the Class 3A state championship match Saturday morning at Blanchard High School.
The Royals prevailed 25-22, 26-24 and 27-25 behind 20 kills from freshman Landry Brazil, but needed four set points to close out the second set and three more in the third, while also overcoming a set point for the Saints.
CCS will take a 28-8 record into this afternoon’s 3:30 p.m. championship match against Heritage Hall or Oklahoma Bible Academy. The Royals are seeking the program’s third state title, having claimed back-to-back crowns in 2015 and 2016.
“In crunch time, we know how to show up, but we do like to make it close sometimes,” Steelman said. “It’s closer than I like sometimes, but we never quit.”
Braziel wasn’t the only star against the Saints. Junior Channing Apel had 11 kills and freshman Stella Gorton added eight kills and four aces. Sophomore Caroline Bell added four aces.
The Royals jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the first set and held off an OCS rally to win 25-22, with sophomore Ashlyn Williams recording the set-clinching kill.
CCS led 24-21 in the second set before the Saints scored three straight points to tie the match, but kills from Braziel and Apel gave the Royals the win.
CCS led 17-16 in the third set before scoring four straight points, the first on a kill from Williams, who then proceeded to serve two aces.
OCS, down 24-22, responded by winning three straight points, earning a set point, before committing a net violation.
Victoria Gray’s kill put CCS back ahead and another kill from Williams ended the match.