Athens Bible 3, Meek 1
Athens Bible fought off stubborn Meek in the Class 1A state volleyball finals Thursday to win the school’s third state championship and first since 2009 when new head coach Elizabeth Anne Shaver was still a player for the Lady Trojans.
Shaver, 21, saw her team claw out a 20-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 win over the Tigers (28-22) to take the title. In the process she may have become the youngest head coach in AHSAA history to win a state volleyball title.
Kara Ward led Athens Bible (32-17) with 19 kills, 28 digs and two blocks. Emma Jarrett added 11 kills, Loren Gilliam had seven kills, 35 assists and 15 digs, and Lyndsey Sherrod had 23 digs. Holly Persell also had eight kills.
Meek, coached by young Tara Branstetter, 23, got strong showings from Morgan Hudson and Jordan Waldrep, who recorded 19 and 18 kills each. Jayden Waldrep had 40 assists.
Class 1A All-Tournament Team
Kara Wood, Athens Bible (MVP); Emma Jarrett, Athens Bible; Holly Persell, Athens Bible; Jordan Waldrep, Meek; Morgan Hudson, Meek; Kayla Grimes, Decatur Heritage; Maddie Vinton, Decatur Heritage.