Oakwood Christian Eagles

After their soccer team won a Georgia Christian Athletic Association state championship on Friday, Oakwood Christian Academy took the court at Macon's Tattnall Square Academy on Saturday, looking to win the school's first-ever state championship in volleyball.

But after a fairly easy 25-9, 25-12 victory over Praise Academy of Powder Springs in the semifinals, the Lady Eagles would simply run into a stronger, more experienced team in the GAPPS Division I-A finals as The Habersham School captured the title in four sets, 25-17, 24-26, 25-22 and 25-21.

Individual statistics from the match were not available as of press time.

It marked the fifth GAPPS state title for the Savannah-area Patriots since 2015 and capped a 23-11 season that saw them beat a number GHSA opponents, including large classification schools like Effingham County, South Effingham, Glynn Academy, Denmark and Dalton.

OCA finished its season with a 21-8 record and the state runner-up trophy in their first-ever appearance in the GAPPS. Like Habersham, the Lady Eagles were battled-tested by a schedule that included plenty of tough teams from the northwest Georgia area, including several that went on to make the GHSA's postseason.

"I am beyond proud of them," said OCA Celina Green. "They've come so far in six years, but especially this year playing such a tough schedule. They played so well and they really believed they belonged there (in the finals). It really helped playing that better competition.

"The girls even said at the end, when they played Habersham today, they just felt it was another good team they had to face," Green said. "They were used to it"

While Oakwood will be losing four valuable senior contributors off this year's team, Green said that she thinks the program is "growing and headed in the right direction."

"I'm just so proud of the girls," she added. "We don't have one player that plays club volleyball on our team. We just have athletes that play a lot of sports (at Oakwood), but they all put in the time and the work and they've done a great job.

"We've stayed right with all the teams we played this year and we just totally give God the glory because He's helped us a lot this year."

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Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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