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)
Bottom of Form
OXFORD – Springville High School captured the AHSAA Class 5A state softball championship Monday with a 2-0 win over Scottsboro in a game played at Oxford’s Choccolocco Park. The game was resume at Oxford after inclement weather forced suspension of the contest on Saturday night at Montgomery’s Lagoon Park.
The Tigers (45-11-1) of Coach Brandon Easterwood battled out of the consolation bracket Saturday to beat Scottsboro (44-17), which emerged undefeated in the winner’s bracket to reach the championship game. Springville won 11-1 in the first game, which forced the “if” game Saturday night. Rain interrupted the “if” game in the third inning with Springville leading 1-0.
The contest resumed Monday morning at Choccolocco Park. Springville won its third straight Class 5A softball championship behind a strong pitching performance from MVP Abby Swaney and stellar defense in the 2-0 victory.
Swaney, who was selected the Class 5A state tourney Most Outstanding Player, struck out eight and scattered five hits in the shutout. The defense was superb, including a game-ending double-play when second baseman Courtney Long grabbed a fly ball in shallow left field, and then threw to first base to nab the Scottsboro runner who had strayed too far.
Piper Long drove in the only run during Monday’s play with an infield single while Kaylee Chapman supplied the first RBI in Saturday’s action.
Piper Long and Ashlyn Perrin each had two hits for the Tigers. Lexie Bennett led the Scottsboro offense with three hits.
Swaney also hurled a four-hitter in the five-inning 11-1 Saturday win that forced the final game. Kaley Chapman had a home run and triple and four RBIs, including a home run, and Anderson Nolan had a homer, single and three RBIs to lead the Tigers in that win. Macy Kate Petriske had a single and RBI for Coach Robyn Johnson’ Wildcats.
Springville finished 5-1 in the tournament with win over Marbury (3-0) and Rehobeth (15-7) before falling to Scottsboro 2-1 in the winner’s bracket finals. The Tigers then beat Moody (6-4) to set up the two final contests. Scottsboro posted wins over Faith Academy (3-0), Hayden (10-2) and Springville to reach the championship contests.
All state-tournament boxscores are available on line at www.ahsaa.com. The final was live-streamed and is now archived at www.NFHSnetwork.com.
Class 5A All-State Tournament Team
Abby Swaney, Springville (MOP); McKenzie Brown, Springville; Kaylee Chapman, Springville; Anderson Nolan, Springville; Loren Grider, Scottsboro; Macy Kate Petriske, Scottsboro; Kylie Thackerson, Scottsboro; Shelby Waldrop, Scottsboro.