It’s been hailed by some as the miraculous season, others refer to it as a Cinderella story. But according to Coach Jeff Cook, he sees the accomplishments of the CHA Girls’ Volleyball team as evidence of “God’s favor—His blessing on His school and His team.”
In his own words, here is the Coach’s recap of this exciting journey through a memorable inaugural season!
We had not even practiced a full week before we played our opening match as the Christian Heritage Academy Girls’ Volleyball team. We travelled to Willows Academy in Des Plaines and we were beaten soundly.
On September 18, we competed in a tournament. We earned our first win of the season, but dropped two matches, including another defeat at the hands of Willows Academy.
Our hard work was about to pay big dividends, and we were going to reap what we had sown. We proceeded to win 10 matches in a row to close out our regular season.
But we weren’t done yet!
The State Series began on October 25. In quarterfinal play, we defeated Chicago Waldorf. That win put us on a collision course with the #1 seed in our bracket, Willows Academy.
We delivered the upset of the week in what could arguably be our most satisfying win. Willows is a good team, they are well-coached, and they had already beaten us twice. We played with great intensity and emerged victorious in straight sets: 25-20, 25-18.
We were on to the Regional Championship match against Beacon Academy from Evanston. There was no let up from the Lions as we captured the first Regional title in CHA history.
When the State Series started on October 25, there were 229 teams aiming for a state championship. Now there were only 32 teams still standing, and CHA was one of those teams.
We traveled to Westminster Christian for our Sectional semifinal against Aquin High School from Freeport. We lost that match, bringing our season to an end, but our memories will never be forgotten.
We went from the possibility of not even having a team, to a team that wins 12 matches in a row, makes school history by winning a Regional Championship, and makes it to the Sectional semifinals.
The best part is that other coaches and players have approached me and congratulated our girls not only on their volleyball skills, but for the quality of character that they displayed on the court. This team made a lasting impression on our opponents, and they were great ambassadors for Christ.
Well done, ladies!