BAY ST. LOUIS -- The Our Lady Academy Crescents will be defending their Class I state title after rallying defeating Resurrection Catholic School 3-2 (18-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-20, 20-18) in the south state championship Tuesday in Bay St. Louis.
OLA has been the Class I state champions since 2012. Tuesday's win marks OLA's third this season against RCS.
The Crescents got off to a slow start but they bounced back from a two-set deficit. After dropping the first two sets 25-18, OLA won sets three through five 25-23, 25-20 and 19-18.
Following the decisive point, OLA students, faculty and fans filled the gym floor to help the Crescents and coach Mike Meyers celebrate a perfect run through the playoffs.
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"I'm very proud of the way our girls played," Meyers said. "Resurrection is a good team and they played hard. It was a very hard fought match for both teams. My girls found a way to win against all odds. We were down big time but they found a way to do it."
The usual standouts led OLA's attack Tuesday.
Sophomore Emma Funk had 37 kills in OLA's victory. Mary Rimmer had 11 service points and 28 kills. Alia Tayara finished with eight service points and 10 kills.
Funk and Rimmer were the only two players who returned from the 2014 championship team.
Hannah Gest had 52 assists for the Crescents.
OLA and RCS met in the third round of the playoffs in 2014. The Class I playoff system was reduced from three games to two this year.
RCS finishes the season 28-4-1 in what coach Keith Tucker has deemed as "one of the best seasons Resurrection has ever had."
The Crescents (23-12) will travel to Germantown High on Saturday to face the Class I North State Champions, St. Andrew's. The match is set for an 11 a.m. start.