BIRMINGHAM – McGill-Toolen Catholic High School junior outside hitter Kenya McQuirter accumulated 23 kills to lead the Dirty Dozen (46-8) to 25-16, 25-23, 267-25 win over Bob Jones to claim the Class 7A state volleyball championship Thursday at Bill Harris Arena.
McQuirter also had 12 digs and five service aces to earn MVP honors as McGill-Toolen won its first state championship since 2005. It was state crown number 20 for the Mobile school in the 46-year history of the tournament and the first for head coach Kate Wood.
The Dirty Dozen, which knocked off three-time defending champion Mountain Brook in the semifinals Wednesday night at the CrossPlex, had to claw from behind in game three to keep from forcing as fourth set. McQuirter’s presence at the net was just too much for the Patriots (41-11) to overcome. Alex Pierre also had 11 kills, Erica Schilling had 15 digs, Lillie Fromdahl and Millie Andrews had 25 and 20 assists, respectively.
Emma Jarrett’s 10 kills led Coach April Marsh’s team. Alana Cox also had nine kills, Aija Abele had 25 assists and Karmahn Hall had 17 digs. Abele also had three service aces.
The four remaining state finals will be played today with all being live-streamed by the NFHS Network.
CLASS 7A ALL-STATE TOURNAMENT TEAM
Kenya McWhirter, McGill-Toolen Catholic (MVP); Erica Schilling, McGill-Toolen Catholic; Lillie Fromdahl, McGill-Toolen Catholic; Alex Pierre, McGill-Toolen Catholic; Alana Cox, Bob Jones; Emma Jarrett, Bob Jones.
MONTGOMERY – Buckhorn High School (43-11) rolled to four straight wins at Lagoon Park to capture the 2017 Class 7A state softball championship Friday. Coach Alvin Rauls’ Lady Bucks beat their Madison County arch-rivals and defending state champion Sparkman 5-0 in the championship game.
Zoie Emrick pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief to get the win. She allowed no hits or runs and struck out two. Starter Lauren Harbin started and allowed two hits over 2 2/3 innings.
Emrick, was named the Most Outstanding Player in the Class 7A state tourney.
Buckhorn took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning and then scored four in the fifth frame with Jordan Evans’ three-run double the big hit. Courtney Marlow also had two hits and one RBI and scored twice. The Bucks also beat Fairhope 12-1, Tuscaloosa County 10-2 and Spain Park 7-1 to outscore all four opponents 34-4 in the state tourney.
Cassidy Duskin got the loss for Sparkman (54-11). Taylor Davis and Amanda Shikoh each had a hit for the Senators, who lost in the first round to Baker 7-5 and then won four straight games in the loser’s bracket to reach the finals.
The state tourney continues Friday and Saturday at Lagoon Park with all championship games set to be live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
Class 7A All-State Tournament Team
Zoie Emrick, Buckhorn (MOP); Sidney Edwards, Buckhorn; Kaylee Combs, Buckhorn; Laura Harbin, Buckhorn; Taylor Davis, Sparkman; Cassidy Duskin, Sparkman; Lily Calvert, Sparkman; MacKenzie Nutt, Buckhorn.
Mountain Brook 3, McGill-Toolen 0
Mountain Brook High School overcame deficits in each of the first two sets to win close and swept McGill-Toolen 27-25, 25-23, 25-16 to claim the Lady Spartans’ second straight Class 7A state volleyball championship Thursday. All championship matches are being played at Birmingham’s 5,500-seat Bill Harris Arena for the first time. All finals are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network at www.nfhsnetwork.com.
Playing before a large crowd at Bill Harris Arena, Coach Haven O’Quinn’s team rallied to sneak past Coach Kate Adams’ Dirty Dozen (49-8). Senior Sara Carr, who earned MVP honors for the second year, was powerful up front. She registered 13 kills, 12 digs and two service aces to lead Mountain Brook (57-6). Emmy Kilgore and Caroline Davies added nine kills each in the heavyweight match that totaled 78 kills for both teams. The Spartans had 44 and McGill-Toolen 34.
Sara Mitchell had 39 assists, Lacey Jeffcoat had 16 digs and Selman added 14.
McGill-Toolen’s Elizabeth Burnett had 11 kills, Kirsten Carter had eight, Sofia Bruno had 20 digs, and Elizabeth Murphy had 26 assists.
Class 7A All-Tournament Team
Sara Carr, Mountain Brook (MVP); Payton Selman, Mountain Brook; Emmy Kilgore, Mountain Brook; Sara Mitchell, Mountain Brook; Elizabeth Murphy, McGill-Toolen; Elizabeth Burnett, McGill-Toolen; Aubrie Huddleston, Grissom.
45TH AHSAA STATE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
THURSDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
Bill Harris Arena
Class 3A Finals
Bayside Academy (40-7) 3, Madison Academy (35-22) 0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-18)
Class 7A Finals
Mountain Brook (57-6) 3, McGill-Toolen Catholic (49-8) 0 (27-25, 25-23, 25-16)
Class 6A Finals
Spanish Fort (54-5) vs. John Carroll Catholic (34-9), noon
Class 4A Finals
Brooks (43-10) vs. Saint James (32-8), 2 p.m.
Class 5A Finals
Randolph (18-20) vs. Lawrence County (60-8), 4 p.m.
Class 1A Finals
Meek (39-13) vs. Donoho (46-8), 6 p.m.
Class 2A Finals
Providence Christian (51-5) vs. Addison (51-13), 8 p.m.