Class 1A State Volleyball Championship

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.

Class 6A State Volleyball Championship

John Carroll Catholic 3,Pelham 0
John Carroll Catholic High School had met area rival Pelham five times this season with the Panthers winning three and the Cavaliers two.
    Coach Ginny Massa’s squad evened the series and then some with a 25-21, 25-12, 25-19 victory over Pelham in the Class 6A State Tournament championship match at the CrossPlex Thursday afternoon.
     Sophomore middle hitter Mary Catherine Hart led the Cavaliers (40-8) with 11 kills, three digs and four blocks to capture MVP honors. Kelsi Hobbs also had 15 kills and 14 digs, Morgan Adamson had nine kills and setter Anna Runyan had 21 assists.
     Pelham (41-17), coached by Scott Coefield, got 13 kills from Erin Hines, 27 assists from Emily Jackson and 18 digs from Hayley Brisendine.
Class 6A All-Tournament Team
Mary Catherine Hart, John Carroll Catholic (MVP); Morgan Ad
amson, John Carroll Catholic; Kelsi Hobbs, John Carroll Catholic; Erin Hines, Pelham; Autum Hiett, Pelham; Shelby Grace Mays, Arab; Miranda Bruce, Walker.

Class 7A State Volleyball Championship

Mountain Brook 3, Hoover 1

     Mountain Brook’s Lady Spartans downed Hoover 25-16, 25-20, 18-25, 25-10 Thursday at the Birmingham CrossPlex to capture the first Class 7A state volleyball championship in AHSAA history. It was also Mountain Brook’s first volleyball state title.
     Coach Haven O’Quinn’s Spartans (49-10) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in part due to the play of outside hitter Sara Carr. The junior finished with 16 kills, 14 digs and three blocks to earn MVP honors.   Emmy Kilgore had eight kills, Payton Selmon, Abby Garrett and Kendrall Crumbaugh added seven each.
     Setter Sara Chandler Mitchell also handed out 38 assists and Smith had 21 digs.
     Hoover (38-9) , coached by Chris Camper, was led by Ali Lowe’s 13 kills. Nora Webster added seven.  Jamie Gregg had 18 assists and Olivia Portera 16 digs.
    Hoover and Mountain Brook were the first two Birmingham schools to meet in the large school state finals. Both were 6A last year.
Class 7A All-Tournament Team
Sara Carr, Mountain Brook (MVP); Sara Chandler Mitchell, Mountain Brook; Julia Smith, Mountain Brook; Ali Lowe, Hoover; Kathryn Cather, Hoover; Abby Hutchens, McGill-Toolen Catholic; Haley Hop, Bob Jones.


Class 2A State Volleyball Championship

Addison 3, Providence Christian 1

     Addison (58-2) used a strong front line Thursday to beat Providence Christian 25-20, 23-25,25-20, 25-18 in the AHSAA State Volleyball Tournament Class 2A championship match at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
     Tourney MVP Jessy Taylor led the attack with 20 kills and 13 digs as the Bulldogs won their seventh state championship since 2003. Addison was 1A state champs in 2013.  Summer Hinton also had 10 kills, Holly Posey had nine and Callie Brewer with six. Posey also had 30 assists and 17 digs.
        Providence Christian (58-2) came into the finals with a 56-match winning streak, longest in school history. Coach Bill Oldfield’s Eagles finished second in 2013 and won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. Hannah Harris and Kristy Odom turned in outstanding performances with 18 kills and 16 kills, respectively. Emma Cary also had 34 assists and 22 digs.
Class 2A All-Tournament Team
Jessy Harris, Addison (MVP); Summer Hinton, Addison; Holly Posey, Addison; Hannah Harris, Providence Christian; Emma Cary, Providence Christian; Sydney Terry, Hatton; Dani Townson, Ider.

Class 5A Volleyball State Championship

St. Paul’s Episcopal 3, Guntersville 1
St. Paul’s Episcopal overcame stubborn Guntersville 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-20 Thursday in the AHSAA Class 5A State Volleyball Tournament finals to capture the 2014 state championship at the Birmingham CrossPlex arena.
     MVP Morgan Eiland had 10 kills, Bradley Carrington 16 and Parker Canada six as the Saints (37-13) sent head coach Kelli Hillier out with a state title. Hillier announced her plans to step down earlier this season. Setter Ali Sutherland had 37 assists while Konner Wilks had 18 digs, Leigh Minus 14 and Canada 10.
     Elizabeth Bridges had 14 kills and four blocks for Coach Jimmy Latta’s Wildcats (37-30), who reached the 5A finals in their first year in the new classification after finishing second in 2013 in Class 4A.  Morgan Hawk also had 11 kills, Mary Goodwin Tully 18 digs and Virginia Gaston 26 assists.
   The state title was St. Paul’s 14th overall dating back to 1976 and their seventh in the last nine years.
Class 5A All-Tournament Team
Morgan Eiland, St. Paul’s Episcopal (MVP); Ali Sutherland, St. Paul’s Episcopal; Konner Wilks, St. Paul’s Episcopal; Elizabeth Bridges, Guntersville; Virginia Gaston, Guntersville; Maddie Kofskey, Randolph; Rachel Childress, Lawrence County.

AHSAA’s 44th State Volleyball Championships to Feature Seven Classifications, 56 Teams in This Year’s Field

        The 44th annual Alabama High School Athletic Association State Volleyball Championships commences Wednesday morning at the 4,000-seat Birmingham CrossPlex with 56 schools competing for seven individual classification state championships.
      It marks the first event for the AHSAA to crown seven state champions.
      The AHSAA hosted its first state tournament in 1971 with only one division. Bradshaw of Florence won the first three titles before McGill-Toolen grabbed its first of 19 in 1974.
       Competition in the single-elimination tournament gets underway at 8 a.m. Wednesday with 1A, 2A and 5A playing the earliest matches. All classes are playing through semifinal action Wednesday with semifinals slated for 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., depending on the class.
        All finals will be Thursday.
       The championship matches will be live-streamed for the second year in a row by the NFHS TV Network Thursday via its subscriber program. To sign up, viewers can go to http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/associations/ahsaa and follow the prompts. The semifinals will not be live-streamed  Wednesday by the NFHS Network, but Jacksonville High School will be live-streaming its school matches via the NFHS TV Network’s school broadcast subscriber program.

       All six 2013 defending state champions return this year, but three find themselves in new classifications.  Addison won in 1A last year but moves up to Class 2A this time around. Coach Pam Wilkin’s team rolls into the CrossPlex with the North Super Regional title under its belt and a 55-2 record. South Super Regional champion Providence Christian of Dothan is coming in at 56-1 with a 54-match winning streak intact.
       Bob Jones, last year’s 6A champion, is in the new Class 7A field this year. The Lady Patriots (39-8) finished third in the North Super Regional.
       Montgomery Academy (40-10) was the 2A state champion in 2013 and is now in Class 3A where defending champion Bayside Academy (41-9) will be vying for its 13th straight state crown. Both teams are coached by members of the AHSAA’s rare 1,000-win club: Julie Sinclair of Montgomery Academy (1,224-360) and Ann Schilling of Bayside (1,285-359).
      Other defending champions include Jacksonville (38-9) in Class 4A and St. Paul’s  Episcopal (34-13) in Class 5A. The Lady Saints have captured 12 state championships, including six of the last eight 5A titles.
      Sinclair and Schilling are two of six coaches with over 1,000 wins guiding teams in this year’s state tournament. The leader is Glenda Wright of Walker. Her Lady Vikings (54-19) are the second seed from the North in the Class 6A tournament. Her 1,457-589 career record ranks her third nationally in the NFHS in wins and ahead of former McGill-Toolen Catholic coach Becky Dickinson, who retired with 1,273 wins and just 129 losses – an incredible 91.0 winning percentage.
     Other 1,000-win coaches include Tammy Richardson of St. Luke’s Episcopal (1,358-546),  Brenda Mayes of Muscle Shoals (1,115-359) and Tanya Broadway of Grissom (1,114-281).
     Addison’s Wilkins has compiled a 727-52 record for the Class 2A Bulldogs, a winning rate of 93.3 percent – tops in the state. The Lady Bulldogs have won six state titles.
    The AHSAA State Volleyball Tournament made history last year by becoming the first event live-streamed by the NFHS TV Network. The NFHS TV Network Blog promoting the tournament was the most viewed athletic blog of the year, according to John Gillis of the NFHS. The broadcast drew rave reviews. This year’s finals will also feature live stats as well.
      Tickets may be purchased on line by clicking on the PrepTix logo at www.ahsaa.com.
     The schedule is listed below.  
AHSAA State Volleyball Championships
Oct. 29-30, CrossPlex, Birmingham

First-Round Pairings
Class 1A
Spring Garden (24-22) vs. S1: Pleasant Home (26-5), Court 1, 8 a.m.
S3: Kinston (15-17) vs. N2: Athens Bible (29-17), Court 3, 8 a.m.
N3: Decatur Heritage (37-13) vs. S2: Isabella (34-3), Court 4, 9:30 a.m.
S4: Ragland (29-15) vs. N1: Meek (26-21), Court 6, 9:30 a.m.
Semifinal pairings
G1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, Court 1, 3:30 p.m.
G3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, Court 3, 3:30 p.m.
Championship Match (Thursday)
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, Thursday, Court 4, 3 p.m.

Class 2A
Mars Hill Bible (19-21) vs. S1: Providence Christian (56-1), Court 7, 8 a.m.
S3: Goshen (29-9) vs. N2: Hatton (21-25), Court 9, 8 a.m.
N3: Ider (24-12) vs. S2: St. Luke’s Episcopal (36-21), Court 1, 11 a.m.
S4: Mobile Christian (13-16) vs. N1: Addison (55-2), Court 3, 11 a.m.
Semifinal pairings
G1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, Court 7, 3:30 p.m.
G3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, Court 9, 3:30 p.m.
Championship Match (Thursday)
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, Thursday, Court 4, 10:30 a.m.

Class 3A
Ashville (28-17) vs. S1: Bayside Academy (41-9), Court 4, 12:30 p.m.
S3: Cottage Hill Christian (14-24) vs. N2: West Morgan (53-14), Court 6, 12:30 p.m.
N3: Geraldine (48-14) vs. S2: Montgomery Academy (40-10), Court 4, 2 p.m.
S4: Prattville Christian (19-20) vs. N1: Madison Academy (48-11), Court 6, 2 p.m.
Semifinal pairings
G1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, Court 1, 7:30 p.m.
G3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, Court 3, 7:30 p.m.
Championship Match (Thursday)
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, Thursday, Court 4, 4:30 p.m.

Class 4A
Brooks (31-18) vs. S1: St. James (26-14), Court 7, 11 a.m.
S3: UMS-Wright (25-18) vs. N2: Jacksonville (38-9), Court 9, 11 a.m.
N3: Deshler (48-7) vs. S2: Trinity Presbyterian (28-12), Court 7, 12:30 p.m.
S4: Straughn (26-20) vs. N1: Danville (48-11), Court 9, 12:30 p.m .
Semifinal pairings
G1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, Court 4, 5:30 p.m.
G3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, Court 6, 5:30 p.m.
Championship Match (Thursday)
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, Thursday, Court 4, 6 p.m.

Class 5A
Madison County (34-33) vs. S1: St. Paul’s Episcopal (34-13), Court 4, 8 a.m.
S3: Alabama Christian (31-25) vs. N2: Lawrence County (51-12), Court 6, 8 a.m.
N3: Randolph (37-10) vs. S2: Faith Academy (21-19), Court 7, 9:30 a.m.
S4: Rehobeth (37-13) vs. N1: Guntersville (35-29), Court 9, 9:30 a.m.
Semifinal pairings
G1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, Court 4, 3:30 p.m.
G3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, Court 6, 3:30 p.m.
Championship Match (Thursday)
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, Thursday, Court 4, 9 a.m.

Class 6A
Hartselle (34-24) vs. S1: John Carroll Catholic (37-8), Court 1, 12:30 p.m.
S3: Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (36-8) vs. N2: Walker (54-19), Court 2, 12:30 p.m.
N3: Muscle Shoals (43-10) vs. S2: Pelham (39-16), Court 1, 2 p.m.
S4: Dothan (23-16) vs. N1: Arab (57-7), Court 2, 2 p.m.
Semifinal pairings
G1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, Court 7, 5:30 p.m.
G3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, Court 9, 5:30 p.m.
Championship Match (Thursday)
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, Thursday, Court 4, 1:30 p.m.

Class 7A
Grissom (29-17) vs. S1: McGill-Toolen Catholic (42-8), Court 1, 9:30 a.m.
S3: Enterprise (35-13) vs. N2: Hoover (36-8), Court 3, 9:30 a.m.
N3: Bob Jones (39-8) vs. S2: Baker (34-19), Court 4, 11 a.m.
S4: Fairhope (30-15) vs. N1: Mountain Brook (46-10), Court 6, 11 a.m.
Semifinal pairings
G1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, Court 1, 5:30 p.m.
G3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, Court 3, 5:30 p.m.
Championship Match (Thursday)
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, Thursday, Court 4, noon