MYRTLE BEACH - Holly Hill Academy volleyball lost 2-1 to defending SCISA Class A runner-up Mead Hall Episcopal School of Aiken on Saturday in state quarterfinal play at the Myrtle Beach Sports Center.
The Lady Raiders finished the season with a 16-4 record, including two losses to the Lady Panthers of Mead Hall in state tournament play.
Mead Hall advanced through a semifinal win and is scheduled to play Beaufort Academy for the state championship on Monday. With Wardlaw Academy having won the 2016 title, there will be a new state champion in the SCISA Class A ranks this season.
Mead Hall topped Holly Hill Academy with set scores of 24-26, 25-5 and 25-13.
"They've just got some skill players; we came out strong, but just had some mental mistakes that hurt us in the second and third sets," HHA third-year head coach Sheryle Young said. "I'm proud of my girls to come out and lead that entire first set like they did today.
"We were prepared for them (Mead Hall), but they are just a really good team. After losing Abbott Hutto and Ashley Crider (to graduation) last year, I feel great about how we came out and played this year. Last season and this season we really came out and competed in the state tournament."
Leading the Lady Raiders against Mead Hall on Saturday was Maelee Troutman with 4 kills, 1 ace, 8 receptions, Katie Rohl with 2 kills, 4 aces, 29 receptions, 3 blocks and 3 assists, Leah Evans with 4 kills, 3 receptions, 6 blocks, Savannah Shuler with 4 kills, 4 receptions, 10 assists, and Tara Bilton with a team-high 58 receptions.
Bilton, the libero for the Lady Raiders, was named co-Player of the Year for Region 3-A, while Troutman and Rohl were named to the All-Region team. All three will play in the SCISA All-Star Game next Saturday at Wilson Hall.
The Lady Raiders opened play in the state tournament on Friday, getting a 2-0 win against Curtis Baptist before falling 2-0 to Mead Hall. In their late match-up on Friday, HHA lost to Montessori of Anderson, but was informed afterward that their opponent forfeited the match, advancing them into state quarterfinal play on Saturday morning.
"We were upset that we were out of the tournament, but then we found out just a minute later that we advanced," Young said. "My kids realized that we got a second chance to play."
Other than Mead Hall, HHA only lost to Thomas Heyward and Patrick Henry this season, while posting an 11-1 region record.
With 7 seniors on this team, including 4 who played regularly, Young will have a younger team on the court next season. But expectations will again be high.
"We'll be rebuilding next year, but we hope to make a good run again," she said.