Thursday, February 20, 2020






Spanish Fort’s Keshock Sparks Defending 6A State Champs to Shrimp Fest Invitational Title

AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight for Week 8

MONTGOMERY – Senior setter Kayla Keshock had 202 assists as Spanish Fort (55-6) claim 10 volleyball match wins last week, including claiming the championship of the Shrimp Fest Invitational Tourney at Gulf Shores. Her effort captured the AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight for Week 8 of the 2019 regular season.
    The tourney featured many of the AHSAA’s strongest programs and was an excellent tune-up for the AHSAA state volleyball playoffs which get underway next week with area tournament play. All area tourney brackets can be found at in the volleyball section of the in-season sports box located on the front of the website.
     The Toros will be hosting the Class 6A, Area 2 tourney October 22. Classes 1A, 3A, 4A and 5A will conduct area tournaments on Monday, October 21, while Classes 2A, 6A and 7A will hold area tournaments next Tuesday. The winner and runner-up from each area tourney will advance to either the South or North Super Regional Volleyball Championships at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl Multiplex (South) and the Von Braun Center in Huntsville (North). The top four teams in each class at the Super Regionals will then advance to the 49th AHSAA Elite Eight State Volleyball Championships set for the Birmingham CrossPlex and Bill Harris Arena October 31 – November 1.
    Spanish Fort beat Daphne, Buckhorn, Hartselle, Curry, Lawrence County, Guntersville, St. Luke’s, Buckhorn, St. Paul’s Episcopal and Hartselle again in the finals to win the tourney title. Keshock, a Samford University commitment, also had 36 digs, 13 kills, 13 blocks and 17 service aces on the week as she continued to show why she is considered one of the state’s top all-around players in the AHSAA.  Senior libero Meg Brackhan added 124 digs, senior Avery Rodgers had 95 kills, 15 blocks and 50 digs, and junior Kamble Franette totaled 55 kills, 82 digs, eight blocks and 18 service aces for Coach Gretchen Boykin.
The Shrimp Fest Invitational was one of several tournaments that provided a glimpse of what fans can expect in the post-season. Class 7A Mountain Brook’s Grace Carr had 96 kills as the Class 7A Lady Spartans (50-7) won nine straight matches last week on the way to also winning the prestigious Margaret Blalock Invitational volleyball tournament at Homewood on Saturday to climax the week.
    Carr also had 87 digs, seven service aces and three blocks. Liz Vandevelde also had 116 digs and Mary Katherine Fowlkes contributed 49 kills and three blocks. Mountain Brook beat defending Class 7A state champion McGill-Toolen Catholic in the semifinals and downed rival Hoover in the finals.
   At Athens, Jordan Gilbert had 28 blocks and 24 kills to lead defending Class 5A state champion Jasper (53-8) to 10 straight match wins and the championship of Athens Invitational tourney. The 10 wins extended the current win streak to 19 matches for the Vikings of Coach Bobby Daniels. Jasper also got a big week from setter Temperance Chatman, who dished out 90 assists, and McKinley Ferguson, who had 41 kills, nine blocks and 14 service aces in five tourney wins.
   In other top performances reported:

AMBER ASKEW, GRISSOM: Had 81 assists in five matches, going over 1,000 assists for her career at the Margaret Blalock Invitational in the process. She also had 18 digs in the tourney.
ALLI WILLIAMS, ATHENS: Had 95 kills and five blocks to lead the Golden Eagles to eight wins in nine matches last week. Athens reached the finals of its own tourney falling to  defending Class 5A state champion Jasper in the championship match.
GABBI ESSIX, HOOVER: Totaled 64 kills in eight matches as the Lady Bucs (29-13) went 6-2 for the week, including reaching the finals of the Margaret Blalock Invitational.
AMELIA BOYKIN, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Had 132 assists as the Dirty Dozen (30-8) went 5-1 on the week.
GRACE LEIGHTON, HARTSELLE: Helped the Tigers (54-9) reach the finals of the Shrimp Fest tournament at Gulf Shores with 172 assists, 48 digs and 10 service aces over nine matches on the week. Hartselle finished 7-2 overall.
HANNAH DAVIS, SAND ROCK: Recorded 52 kills and had 72 digs as Sand Rock (31-9) won six matches and captured the Glencoe Invitational tourney championship.
JACI PARKER, REHOBETH: Had 38 kills, 13 service aces, 12 digs and 11 blocks as Rehobeth (19-5), which struggled in pool play, emerged to win the Ashford Invitational tourney. The Rebels beat Class 6A Dothan and host Ashford in the semifinals and finals.
DARIAN BELL, ASHFORD: Had 47 kills and 13 service aces in four matches to held Ashford (16-7) finish as runner-up in the Yellow Jackets’ own tourney.
STEPHANIE SHARP, BUCKHORN: Had 140 assists, 32 digs and 15 aces in eight matches as the Bucks finished 5-3 for the week.
BAYLIE CRIM, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Helped the Saints (26-11) go 7-1 on the week with 154 assists and 36 digs in the eight matches.
MERRITT BEASON, GARDENDALE: Recorded 17 kills in a win over McAdory. She also had nine digs and three service aces in the match.
KAILEY ARMSTRONG, MUSCLE SHOALS: Managed 61 kills, 43 digs and 13 service aces as the Trojans (31-15) won seven matches during the week.
KRISTEN MITTERNIGHT, FAITH ACADEMY: Had 81 digs and 44 assists as the Rams (35-9) went 8-1 for the week and won the Silver Bracket title at the Shrimp Fest Invitational at Gulf Shores.
LUCI WILKINSON, BAYSIDE ACADEMY: Totaled 113 digs and 25 aces as the defending Class 4A state champion Admirals (42-9) won seven of eight matches to reach the semifinals of the Margaret Blalock Invitational at Homewood.
AUTUMN MAYES, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Had 85 kills, 78 digs and 11 aces as the Eagles went 3-3 for the week.
IVIE GIBBONS, CARBON HILL: Provided 145 assists and 36 digs for Carbon Hill (27-20) in eight matches on the week.

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