For the second year in a row, the Agape Christian Eagles senior girls met the C.V. Bethel Stingrays in the gold medal match of the Bahamas National High School Volleyball Championships, and for the second year in a row, the Eagles came out on top.
The title of best senior girls high school volleyball team in the country once again belongs to a school not in the capital island of New Providence, or even Grand Bahama.
Agape Christian, out of Marsh Harbour, Abaco, came to the high school volleyball nationals, and completely dominated. In the championship match, they got past the Stingrays, 25-18, 20-25 and 15-5, on Saturday night at theMarsh Harbour, Abaco
Leading 10-5 in the third and final set, championship Most Valuable Player (MVP) Clanae Davis served up five aces in a row to seal the deal for the Eagles.
The high school senior said that they kept their faith alive in spite of the many hurdles they had to cross this year.
“It feels great. It just feels good to be at this point once more with my teammates,” she said. “I’m grateful to God for allowing us to make it to the top again. We kept hope alive through this whole process. I just feel like all of our hard work and dedication has paid off. I just wanted to go out there and win this in my last year with my team and I’m just thankful that we were able to do that.”
Davis said that she has been involved in the sport of volleyball since the age of seven, learning from her father, and she just continued to progress from year to year.
“All the experience I got over the years, I could say that it pays off. This is my last year, but it’s a strong program at Agape, so I’m sure that once they keep working at it, they will be able to three-peat.”
For Head Coach Stephon Johnson, he had to piece the players together after a couple players suffered injuries. One of his players in particular, Deanna McDonald, fought through a twisted ankle just to contribute toward her team’s success. Another one, Susie Pinder, went down with a knee injury in the tournament semifinals.
“We trained really hard and we went out there and fought hard despite the injuries. They just played smart and played hard,” said Johnson. “It’s a great feeling. Hopefully we could keep it up. God has really blessed me with some great kids and great players and I am really thankful for that. When you look at Clanae, she really wanted it and she went out there and played hard for it. I’m really proud of her and all of the other kids.”
As mentioned, it’s the second consecutive national high school senior girls volleyball title for the Eagles. C.V. Bethel lost in the championship match two years back-to-back. St. John’s College won the bronze medal this year.
“We’ve been working hard for four years, and the girls really wanted it,” said Johnson. “A lot of them I had in the program for all four years, and now the rewards are coming in. They stuck together and it paid off.
“We’ve been through a lot of hard times this year, but sometimes God gives you challenges to make the victory sweeter, and we truly believe that is what happened.”
For the Stingrays, it was a devastating loss, falling in the championship match two years back-to-back.
“We wanted it, but it appeared that we gave up at the end. It was a good game, but we fell apart,” said one of their players, Amoss Ferguson. “If you don’t fight, you can’t get anything back, and we didn’t fight tonight. It’s tough, but we’ll be back stronger and more together next year.”
The champions and runners-up from the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA), Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) and the Bahamas Scholastic Athletic Association (BSAA) all took part in the high school volleyball nationals this year, as well as teams from Abaco, Eleuthera and Bimini.
This is the fifth year in which the high school volleyball nationals were held.