BIRMINGHAM – Four defending state champions will be in the 56-team field as the 46th annual AHSAA State Volleyball Championships get underway at the Birmingham CrossPlex Wednesday morning.
Eight teams will be competing in each of the seven classifications Wednesday with quarterfinal and semifinal matches set to be completed. State champions will be crowned in the championship matches Thursday at Bill Harris Arena next door. All championship matches will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network.
Class 3A Bayside Academy (54-5) will be going after its 14th consecutive state title and 24th volleyball championship overall. Coach Ann Schilling’s Lady Admirals take on Plainview (36-11) at 11 a.m. in their first match of the 3A eight-team bracket. Among the strongest challengers are North Super Regional champion Carbon Hill and South Super Regional runner-up Providence Christian (43-8).
Other defending champions in the field are two-time 7A champion Mountain Brook (41-8), Class 6A Spanish Fort (56-4) and Addison (40-19), the 2A state champs in 2015. The Bulldogs of Coach Kayla Woodard are competing this season in Class 1A.
Six runners-up from 2015 are also in the field: Class 7A McGill-Toolen Catholic; Class 4A Saint James; Class 5A Lawrence County; Class 1A Donoho; Class 4A Madison Academy and Class 3A Providence Christian, which competed last season in Class 3A and Class 2A, respectively.
Matches begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday with two 7A matches, two 2A matches and two 5A matches. First-round matches will be followed by semifinals beginning at 3:30 p.m. in Classes 7A, 2A and 5A; at 5:30 p.m. in Classes 4A, 2A and 5A; and at 7:30 for Class 1A.
The championship matches Thursday will be at two-hour intervals beginning with Class 2A at 8 a.m.; 3A at 10 a.m.; 4A at noon; 7A at 2 p.m.; 6A at 4 p.m., 3A at 6 p.m.; and 1A at 8 p.m.
Last year’s state tournament set an AHSAA record for attendance.
In addition to the NFHS Network broadcasts on Thursday, two NFHS Network school broadcast programs (McGill-Toolen and Jacksonville) plan to live-stream matches involving their teams in Class 7A and 4A, respectively.
AHSAA VOLLEYBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
At CrossPlex, Birmingham
Wednesday, Oct. 26 Schedule
(Check brackets at www.ahsaa.com for courts and times)
N-4: Sacred Heart Catholic (24-24) vs. S-1: Isabella (36-3)
S-3: Pleasant Home (21-8) vs. N-2: Addison (40-19)
S-4: Kinston (17-14) vs. N-1: Decatur Heritage (43-10)
N-3: Donoho (33-17) vs. S-2: Ragland (23-16)
N-4: Ider (17-25) vs. S-1: St. Luke’s Episcopal (43-14)
S-3: New Brockton (20-14) vs. N-2: Altamont (22-4)
S-4: Washington County (23-3) vs. N-1: Winston County (26-15)
N-3: Fyffe (33-12) vs. S-2: Goshen (22-21)
N-4: Plainview (36-11) vs. S-1: Bayside Academy (54-5)
S-3: T.R. Miller (27-9) vs. N-2: West Morgan (39-21)
S-4: Straughn (34-6) vs. N-1: Carbon Hill (68-8)
N-3: Lexington (53-3) vs. S-2: Providence Christian (43-8)
N-4: Deshler (42-13) vs. S-1: Saint James (33-10)
S-3: Saks (33-20) vs. N-2: Jacksonville (42-11)
S-4: Andalusia (20-15) vs. N-1: Madison Academy (42-20)
N-3: Danville (37-23) vs. S-2: Alabama Christian (33-16)
N-4: Guntersville (30-28) vs. S-1: St. Paul’s Episcopal (41-7)
S-3: Briarwood Christian (19-22) vs. N-2: Lawrence County (45-13)
S-4: Rehobeth (31-9) vs. N-1: St. John Paul II Catholic (38-26)
N-3: Alexandria (46-9) vs. S-2: Faith Academy (24-17)
N-4: Oxford (40-17) vs. S-1: Spanish Fort (56-4)
S-3: Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (44-6) vs. N-2: Hartselle (67-11)
S-4: Blount (14-8) vs. N-1: Hazel Green (53-10)
N-3: Walker (55-11) vs. S-2: Daphne (35-16)
N-4:Oak Mountain (28-18) vs. S-1: McGill-Toolen Catholic (48-9)
S-3: Murphy (38-12) vs. N-2: Mountain Brook (41-8)
S-4: Prattville (27-19) vs. N-1: Huntsville (37-10)
N-3: Hoover (37-14) vs. S-2: Enterprise (30-14)
Bill Harris Arena
Class 2A Finals 8 a.m.
Class 5A Finals 10 a.m.
Class 4A Finals noon
Class 7A Finals 2 p.m.
Class 6A Finals 4 p.m.
Class 3A Finals 6 p.m.
Class 1A Finals 8 p.m.