BIRMINGHAM – It took five grueling sets before Bayside Academy emerged victorious over Montgomery Academy Thursday night as the Class 3A finals closed out the AHSAA’s 46th State Volleyball Tournament at Bill Harris Arena.
Coach Ann Schilling’s squad extended their current state championship winning streak to 16 in a row in the process with the 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 22-25, 15-13 victory. Bayside Academy came into the finals riding the string of 15 consecutive state championships dating back to 2002. Montgomery Academy had four state titles to its credit with the most recent coming in 2013.
Pacing Bayside was 3A State Tourney MVP Brandley Rhodes. The senior had 24 kills and six service aces. Setter Ansleigh Daily had 51 assists and 11 digs, Jacque Martn had 15 digs, 13 kills and four aces, Ella Dawson had 10 digs and seven kills, Ella Broadhead had nine kills and Kaitlyn Morris posted 14 digs.
Coach Julie Gordon’s Eagles were paced by senior hitter Caroline Kirkham’s 52 kills and five blocks. Margaret Head had 29 kills and four blocks. Setter Morgan Karst had 70 assists and Ann Lucas Merrick had 36 digs.
CLASS 3A ALL-STATE TOURNAMENT TEAM
Brandley Rhodes, Bayside Academy (MVP); Ansleigh Dailey, Bayside Academy; Jacque Martin, Bayside Academy; Caroline Kirkham, Montgomery Academy; Ann Lucas Herrick, Montgomery Academy; Margaret Head, Montgomery Academy.