BIRMINGHAM – Alexandria High School volleyball coach Whitney Welch had the opportunity to play on a state championship volleyball team for the Valley Cubs while a student at the Calhoun County school. After Thursday’s 25-23, 25-16, 25-13 win over Lawrence County in the Class 5A finals of the 46th annual AHSAA State Volleyball Championships at Bill Harris Arena, she has now been able to share that experience with her team as the coach.
The Valley Cubs (44-9), who lost in the5A finals in 2016 to St. Paul’s Episcopal, rolled through the Class 5A state tournament winning three matches without losing a single set. They clicked on all cylinders in the finals with senior outside hitter Taylor Spradley recording 20 kills to earn MVP honors. Fellow senior Aubrey Pope added 14 kills and senior setter Gracie Muncher dished out 40 assists. Junior Mattie Wade had 18 digs.
Coach Robyn Hutto’s Lady Red Devils (59-5) were led by juniors Lauren Mayes and Savannah Graham, who collected 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Setter Laekyn Bennett had 23 assists and Sami Parker had a team-high 13 digs.
The championship was Alexandria’s fourth state volleyball title overall, but the first in Class 5A. The first three (1993, 1994 and 1995) were in Class 4A.
The three remaining state finals will be played today with all being live-streamed by the NFHS Network.
CLASS 5A ALL-STATE TOURNAMENT TEAM
Taylor Spradley, Alexandria (MVP); Gracie Muncher, Alexandria; Aubrey Pope, Alexandria; Mattie Wade, Alexandria; Savannah Graham, Lawrence County; Lauren Mayes, Lawrence County.
THURSDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE/RESULTS
At Bill Harris Arena
(All matches lived-streamed by the NFHS Network)
Addison (51-8) 3, Meek 1 (46-18) (26-28, 25-19, 25-19, 25-19)
Pelham (41-9) 3, Jasper (57-5) 2 (25-20, 26-24, 22-25, 25-27, 17-15)
McGill-Toolen Catholic ( Bob Jones (41-11) 0 (25-16, 25-23, 27-25)
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