It was a pair of Prince George teams battling for a spot in the final at the CHSS senior girls volleyball invitational on the weekend.
The College Heights Cougars and the Cedars Christian Eagles faced off in one semifinal Saturday while North Peace (Fort St. John) tried to get past Quesnel's Correlieu Clan for the other spot.
Both semifinal matches went the full three sets with the Cougars and Clan rebounding from first set losses to earn a spot in the final. The Clan secured its berth with a 2-1 (14-25, 25-15 and 15-11) win.
In the other semifinal the Cougars clawed back in the first set after falling behind 6-2 early and held a 22-19 lead when Eagles coach Martin Pudlas called a time out to give his team a pep talk. It worked. The Eagles scored the next six points for the win.
Morgan Samuelson, captain of the Cougars, said the Eagles always give them trouble due to their size, adding her team was working on a few new plays in the opening set.
"We come together when it's crunch time and we do what we have to do to pull it off," said Samuelson about the 2-1 (22-25, 25-17 and 15-10) win. "We might not make it easy on ourselves but we do it.
"We were trying new stuff and we just got a little flustered," she added. "In the second set we perfected everything we were trying in the first set and it worked."
The Cougars built up an 18-12 advantage in the second set and stayed patient to force a final deciding set. In the third set, College Heights spotted the Eagles a 2-0 lead before scoring the next seven points on six service points by Courteney Crellin.
Samuelson, the 17-year-old power hitter for the Cougars, said in order to beat the Clan in the final the team would have to hit smart and make them work since the Quesnel girls are very good defensively.
The Cougars swept the Clan in straight sets to capture their third championship of the year.
So far this year, the College Heights squad has won the senior portion of the Kodiak classic, the Cedars Christian tournament and placed fifth at the Best of the West tournament in Kelowna on Thanksgiving weekend.
The Kelly Road Roadrunners won their pool, including knocking off the Cougars in a three-set match, 25-17, 20-25 and 15-13, but fell in the quarterfinal to the Clan. The Cougars earned their semifinal berth by beating the D.P. Todd Trojans in the quarterfinal while the PGSS Polars lost to North Peace.
Other schools at the tournament were the Nechako Valley Vikings (Vanderhoof) who finished 0-4, the Fort St. James Falcons (1-4) and Mackenzie (0-4).