ALBIA – Chariton pulled off a postseason stunner on Monday night, avenging a four-set loss to Albia during the regular season by sweeping the Lady Dees 25-16, 25-23, 25-19 win to open Class 3A, Region 5 tournament at Albia's 'A' Gymnasium.
The Chargers improved to 13-13 on the season, ending Albia's season with an even .500 record of 19-19. Chariton will look to pull off another postseason upset against an SCC rival on Wednesday at 11th-ranked Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont.
The Chargers were able to start the first game of postseason play on fire, scoring the first six points of the match. Chariton would open an 8-0 lead before a kill by Avery Halstead finally put the Lady Dees on the scoreboard.
Chariton would then run off four more points on kills by Caci Goldensoph and Macy Wood as well as a pair of ace serves by Avery Hall, opening a 13-2 lead. Albia got as close as 19-10 on an ace serve by Ashley Beary and another Halstead winner before an unforced error by the Lady Dees and pair of kills by Avery Hall put the Chargers on top 22-10.
Addison Halstead would add a pair of kills and Sydney Hoskins scored on an ace serve, again pulling Albia within nine in the opening game. Jenna Gronewold scored on a kill before an errant serve by the Lady Dees finally closed out Chariton's opening-game win.
The second game saw much more back-and-forth action. Tanae Thiravong would unleash a power kill and a tip over the net with Beary serving before Hall would add a kill of her own, a tip for a score, as the Chargers took a 4-3 lead behind the serving of Grace Watkins.
Albia would jump back out front with three straight points, including a Thiravong ace. Chariton would reel off five points with Hall serving, regaining a 9-6 lead in the second set.
Emma Wenger would start an Albia comeback, serving the Lady Dees into a 12-12 tie. Thiravong would have a kill, only to be matched by Hall on the other side of the net as Chariton regained the second-set lead scoring five of the next six points.
Thiravong's serving would help Albia close the gap in the pivotal game, cutting Chariton's lead to 17-16. The game would come down to the wire with the score tied at 19-19 before consecutive points on the serve of Sophia Waber put the Lady Dees ahead 23-22, moving within two points of tying the match at a set apiece. to close the gap again to 17-16. The game would remain close and be notted up at 19-19.
Chariton, however, would take control of the match by scoring the final three points of the second set. Lexi Smyer's tip tied the game at 23-23 before an unforced error by Albia and a tip by the Lady Dees that landed out of bounds clinched a 25-23 win and a two-game lead in the match.
With the season on the line, Albia would score the first two points of the third game before Hall would get Chariton on the board with another kill. Layne Braby would add two more points behind an ace and another kill by Hall.
Jenna Gronewold would smash down a long hit before serving up an ace. Thiravong would add a kill and Albia would tally two more points to take a 7-3 lead in hopes of extending the match and their season.
Elena Caster-Real would add a kill for the Lady Dees, helping Albia open a 10-5 lead. The Chargers responded by scoring the next five points as a kill by Hall sparked tying run as Chariton caught Albia at 10-10.
The Chargers would take the lead with a five-point service run by Ava Johnson that included a pair of aces. Albia answered, scoring six of the next seven points with Wenger serving and precision placement that tied the set at 16-16.
Tied at 18-18, Chariton would call a timeout and run the table to end the match. Hall would remain at the net finishing points as Braby would serve the match out.