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SF Christian Plays Through Grief To State



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TEA, S.D.  --  It's the biggest game for the Sioux Falls Christian girls in three decades.

A trip to the state tournament was on the line against Madison in the Region 3A Championship at Tea High School.

"Wasn't really expecting this and this is our goal all year so it's really cool to finally be here.  And, you know, emotions, words can't really describe it."  Sioux Falls Christian Senior Guard Brooke Van Gorp said.

The program hasn't been to state since 1986, well before any of these players were alive.  And the chance to return comes after a week in which all of their lives changed forever.

"We were all inspired by her.  Me being older than her, I even looked up to her."  Sioux Falls Christian Senior Forward Hayley McCarron said.

Sophomore guard Alysa Vollmer, her brother and parents were killed in a car crash one week earlier.  This game was rescheduled, in part so the team could attend her funeral just 24 hours earlier.

"I don't think any of us really wanted to play but as the week went on we kinda got more and more excited about it and realized that we just wanted to finish what we had started and what we had started with Alyssa."  McCarron says.

"We had to let them grieve a little.  We just really had to honor her in the things that we did and remember that we can still play and we can still live in the midst of this."  Sioux Falls Christian Head Coach Andrea Begeman said.

And at the end of the worst week of their lives, the Chargers played their best game of their season.  The Chargers beat Madison 63-32.  But the moment still didn't feel complete.

"It means a lot to do it and to do it for her.  But at the same time we know it won't be the same without her."  McCarron says.

They'll move on and continue living Alyssa's dream at the State Tournament because, like life itself, the games must go on and eventually.

But memories never fade.
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