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YACS wins volleyball state championship
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The Young Americans Christian volleyball team had a saying all season, "No excuses......results," and on Saturday the Lady Eagles delivered results and never had a reason to list excuses.

Young Americans Christian defeated Alleluia Community from Augusta 25-13, 37-25 to clinch the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama state championship on its home court.

"This season was a true thrill ride" YACS coach Steve Vineyard said. "These girls are all fighters and when you couple that with one purpose and a common goal, one we set from the day we lost in the state finals last season, you couldn't help but feel it was our time."

The Lady Eagles opened the season with a new addition at middle blocker in junior Katelyn Durmire and freshman Kelley Pearson, who helped solidify a deeper bench for a second title run.

Along with the Lady Eagles No. 1 outside hitter and captain Halen Chapman, Young Americans Christian volleyball now had a potent offensive attack, one that would carry it to a 22-9 record overall and 10-0 in region play.

"This was the first time in a while that we found ourselves two deep in multiple positions which made us a truly balanced team," Vineyard said. "The team, as a whole, played in sync all year and continued the trend throughout the tournament. Good solid fundamentals and a strong team serving percentage of 95% was the key to our success this season."

The Lady Eagles won their first match of the state tournament 25-13 and the second and deciding match 27-25 against Alleluia Community School of Augusta in the double elimination tournament.

YACS, who came out of the west bracket, also faced the east's No. 2 seed Loganville earlier that day. Alleluia faced New Creation Christian Academy of McDonough earlier that day.

Chapman finished as state tournament MVP, and Kristy Ammons and Durmire were named to the All-state team.

Chapman, Ammons and Durmire led the Lady Eagles in a first-set rout before falling behind in the second.

Young Americans Christian fell behind 17-10 before it came together to go over its "no excuses" mantra. The Lady Eagles responded to tie it at 24-24 before scoring three of the match's next four points.

"That is my team's mission statement this year, and I guess they took it to heart," said Vineyard, who is in his sixth year as head volleyball coach and third as Athletic Director. "We made no excuses for our play but turned it around at that point and got results."