Members of the Catawba Ridge volleyball team celebrate after the final point in their match against Lugoff-Elgin Thursday night.

For the second straight match, the Catawba Ridge Copperheads volleyball team had to overcome a slow start, but this time they were able to punch their ticket to the Upper State championship.

Catawba Ridge beat the Lugoff-Elgin Demons 3-1 (20-25, 25-13, 25-22, 25-13) to move on to host the 4A Upper State finals which will be Tuesday, Nov. 2 against Pickens, who defeated Westwood 3-0 Thursday. Aiken and Hilton Head will play in the Lower State championship that same night.

Head coach Alicia Lisee took the blame for the slow start by the Copperheads in the opening set, as she was adjusting her lineup.

“We should have played better,” she said. “I will wear that.”

In the opening set, both teams started off evenly matched as they traded points to get out to a 5-5 tie. Lugoff-Elgin then scored five straight points to take a strong lead and went up 13-6 before a Copperheads’ time out.

Coming out of the timeout, Catawba Ridge struggled to keep up, but was able to get their lineup adjusted to make the score look closer than it was as they fell 25-20. With the adjustments made, the Copperheads jumped out to a 5-1 lead to open the second set. Lugoff-Elgin battle back to tie the set up at 7-7, and then Catawba Ridge scored the next three points to get the advantage they needed moving forward.

The Copperheads wouldn’t trail again in the set and pushed their lead to 20-10 forcing the Demons to take their second time out of the set. Catawba Ridge was able to put things away after that time out to get a 25-13 win and tie the match at 1-1.

Catawba Ridge opened the third set strong from the first serve and never lost the lead as they went up 8-3 early. Lugoff-Elgin kept pace and pulled within two multiple times, but could never really surge ahead. The Demons were able to tie the match at 20-20, but the Copperheads come out of their time out to regain the lead and get the 25-22 set win to go up 2-1.

The Copperheads finished things off in the fourth set as they opened and went up 10-4 forcing the Demons to take a time out. They would then keep their foot on the gas and cruise to another 25-13 win.

“The girls did a good job,” Lisee said. “It is starting to click. They are a good team. Once we click and start to get it going, we are dominate. The girls are benefiting from playing at home in front of a big fan base.”

Mac Banks:, @fortprep

Catawba Ridge’s Katie Lammers, far right, goes for a kill against Lugoff-Elgin during Thursday’s playoff match.