Finals set for 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.
    Bayside Academy won its semifinal match and moved into the finals for the 15th straight year in Class 3A to face South Super Regional rival Providence Christian.
    Other finals set include: Alexandria and St. Paul’s Episcopal in Class 5A; defending champion Spanish Fort and Hazel Green in 6A; Winston County and St. Luke’s Episcopal in Class 2A; Saint James versus Madison Academy in 4A; Addison and Decatur Heritage in 1A.
     Recaps of the semifinal matches are below:

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 6A Semifinals
   Spanish Fort 3, Hartselle 1: Defending state champion Spanish Fort (58-4), coached by Gretchen Boykin, beat the Tigers (68-12) in four sets 18-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 advancing to  Thursday’s Class 6A championship match versus Hazel Green at 4 p.m. at Bill Harris Arena on the CrossPlex campus.
    Carley Hamric and Savannah Lee each had 16 kills for the Toros. Lee also had 21 digs, and Reilly Vought recorded 37 assists.
     Leading Hartselle was Megan Zuck with 19 kills and 32 digs. Hayden Hanserd added 15 kills while setter Gabrielle Bili dished out 44 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 4A Semifinals
   Saint James 3, Jacksonville 1: The Trojans (35-10) moved to the Class 4A finals with a 25-18, 25-18, 19-25, 26-24 victory over Jacksonville. They advance to the 4A finals Thursday at noon to face Madison Academy.
     Senior Sydney Stone and sophomores Carson Ann Crow and Hannah Dailey had 11, 10 and 10 kills respectively for Saint James, coached by Karen Lee. Samantha White had 31 assists and Emily Poundstone had 22.  Jacksonville finished its season 43-12.
   Madison Academy 3, Danville 2: The Mustangs (44-20), moving up to 4A this season, advanced to Thursday’s Class 4A finals thanks in part to a super performance from outside hitter Abby Brooks. The junior had 25 kills and 34 digs, and Emma Wade had 35 digs and 29 assists. Macy Moore also had 10 kills for Coach Mandy Kerce’s Mustangs.
    Shelby Ziegler and Mikayla Koins had 20 and 19 kills, respectively. Ziegler also had a first-day state-tournament high 12 blocks. Courtney Watts recorded 46 assists.

Class 3A Semifinals
   Bayside Academy 3, West Morgan 0: Coach Ann Schilling’s Lady Admirals (56-5) kept their hopes of a 15th straight state championship alive with a 25-12, 25-15, 25-14 sweep of West Morgan (40-22) in the Class 3A semifinals. The win sends Bayside, which has won eight Class 3A state championships in a row after capturing six Class 2A state titles from 2001-2007, against Providence Christian in Thursday’s finals at 6 p.m. at Bill Harris Arena.
    Lauren Chastang had 14 kills and 14 digs for Bayside, also seeking its 25th state title overall, and Ansley Dailey added 29 assists. Ariel Dulaney also served five aces and had eight kills. West Morgan’s Savannah Stephenson led the Rebels with eight kills and 11 digs.
   Providence Christian 3, Carbon Hill 0:  Coach Bill Oldfield’s Eagles (45-8) set up another showdown with Bayside in the state finals with a 25-14, 25-14, 25-16 win over Carbon Hill (69-9).  Providence, moving up from 2A to 3A this season, met Bayside in the South Super Regional finals last weekend.
   Ashlyn Byrd had 34 assists and Hannah Harris had 26 kills in the win. Autumn Mayes also had 23 digs. Carbon Hill, coached by Saige Beaty, got nine kills and 13 digs from sophomore Lacey Evans and 18 assists from Molly Kate Atkins.

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.

Class 1A Semifinals
   Addison 3, Isabella 0: Addison won the Class 2A state championship in 2015, moved down to 1A this season and will be playing for the Class 1A title Thursday night after its 25-19, 25-19, 25-10 win over Isabella in Wednesday’s semifinals.
   Coach Kayla Woodard’s Bulldogs (42-19) will face Decatur Heritage in the finals at Bill Harris Arena. The 5,500-seat facility is adjoined to the Birmingham CrossPlex where all the first-day action took place.
    Abbie Chambless had 13 kills and Allie Chambless had 10 to lead Addison. Abbie also had 11digs and Savannah Manley had 12 blocks, which tied for most in a match in all seven classifications Wednesday.  Maison Evans served four aces and led with 18 digs.
   Isabella (37-4), coached by Glen Graham, was led by Hailey Underwood’s 13 digs. Synia Chattman had five blocks and Kinley Tuttle had four.
   Decatur Heritage 3, Donoho 1: The Eagles (45-10) of Coach Kelly Garland  reeled off the last 14 points of the final set to thwart a Donoho comeback and captured the other finals slot 20-25, 25-11, 25-12, 25-14.
    Trailing 14-11 in the fourth set, senior Kayla Grimes took over at the net as Decatur Heritage closed out the win on a 14-0 run. She finished the match with 28 kills and seven blocks. Teammate Timara Bowers was also dominant inside with 22 kills and three blocks.  Setter Kaitlyn Cheatham had 56 assists and 25 digs.
    Katie Brown led Donoho (33-19), coached by Janice Slay, with 44  assists and 31 digs. Madison Gaines and Peyton Suco added 16 and 10 kills, respectively. Suco also had 27 digs.

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