Finals set for 7A, 5A and 2A at the 46th AHSAA Volleyball State Championships

   BIRMINGHAM – Hoover and Mountain Brook advanced to the 7A state finals as the 46th annual AHSAA State Volleyball Championships at the CrossPlex moved into the semifinals Wednesday night.
    Alexandria and St. Paul’s Episcopal posted Class 5A semifinal wins while Winston County and St. Luke’s Episcopal squeaked out five-set win in the Class 2A semifinals.
     Class 1A, 3A, 4A and 6A semifinals were underway at 6 p.m.

Class 7A Semifinals
   Hoover 3, Huntsville 0: Coach Chris Camper’s Lady Bucs (39-14) clawed out a tough 25-22, 25-22, 25-21 win over Huntsville (38-11) at the Birmingham CrossPlex Wednesday afternoon to advance to the AHSAA Class 7A State Volleyball Tournament finals. Hoover will meet two-time defending state champion Mountain Brook in the championship match Thursday at Bill Harris Arena next door at 2 p.m. All finals will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
   Leading Hoover were Kenya Hunter and Nora Webster with 11 kills each. Paige Shaw added nine kills and six digs and Hunter added six blocks. Sabrina Duncan’s 13 kills led Huntsville. Savannah Combs also had 19 digs and Hannah Barrett added 12 assists.
   Mountain Brook 3, McGill-Toolen 1: Emmy Kilgore’s 22 kills led the Spartans (43-8) to the 7A finals with a 25-20, 24-26, 28-26, 25-20 triumph over McGill-Toolen. Lacey Jeffcoat added three service aces and 35 digs and setter Libby Grace Gann had 50 assists, 15 digs and three kills for Mountain Brook. Coach Haven O’Quinn’s team will be making their third straight Class 7A state championship match appearance with Thursday’s finals versus Hoover.
   McGill-Toolen (49-10), the 2015 state runner-up, had strong front-row play from Shaunta Battle, Jaylen Daffen and Kirsten Carter. The trio had 10, 9 and 9 kills, respectively. Sofia Bruno added 24 digs and Lillie Fromdahl had 24 assists.

Class 5A Semifinals
   Alexandria 3, St. John Paul II Catholic 1: Senior Tori Rae Stillwell and junior Taylor Spradley dominated inside with 16 kills and 15 kills, respectively, as Coach Whitney Welch’s Valley Cubs (48-9) beat St. John Paul II Catholic 25-13, 25-11, 22-25, 25-19. Alexandria moves to the Class 5A finals to face St. Paul’s Episcopal. The 5A championship match will be Thursday at 10 a.m. at Bill Harris Arena.
    Gracie Muncher had six service aces and 42 assists, and Kinsley Gregoria had 19 digs.
    Setter Madison Lozen had 30 assists, Alex Pressnell had 19 digs and seven kills, and Marissa Koch added 10 kills for the Falcons (39-27).
    St. Paul’s Episcopal 3, Lawrence County 1: Seniors Konner Wilks and Mary Scott Hollingsworth paced St. Paul’s (43-7) to a 25-21, 20-25, 25-16, 25-15 victory in the other Class 5A semifinal. Wilks had 29 digs while Hollingsworth had 13 kills, two blocks and 20 digs for Coach Lisa Marston’s Saints.
    Lawrence County (46-14) was led by Ally Craig’s 10 kills and eight blocks. Bradee Garner also had eight kills and eight blocks and setter Laekyn Bennett had 35 assists.

Class 2A Semifinals
   Winston County 3, Fyffe 2: The Yellow Jackets (28-15), coached by Tiffany Cole, won the five-set marathon 20-25, 25-12, 22-25, 25-10, 15-13 to advance to Thursday’s Class 2A finals versus St. Luke’s Episcopal. The 2A finals will kick off Championship Thursday at Bill Harris Arena with the first championship match at 8 a.m.
    Saige Blanton led Winston County with 19 kills and 20 digs. Andrea Jacques had 24 digs and eight fills, Presley Billups added nine kills and 19 digs, and Macy Green distributed 43 assists.
     Fyffe finished its season (33-13).
   St. Luke’s Episcopal 3, Altamont 2: Coach Meredith McDonald’s Wildcats  (45-14) pulled out the 25-13, 22-25, 22-25, 25-21, 15-13 victory coming from a 2-1 deficit to reach the 2A finals. Natalie Bonner had 12 kills and eight blocks, Kellan Hensley and Jordan Odom had  32 and 30 digs, respectively, and Brooke Threlkeld  recorded 21 assists.
   Altamont (28-5) got 41 assists from Ashley Sharff. Abby Sharff had 62 digs and 16 kills.

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