On Monday, No. 1 seed Spring Garden will play No. 4 Collinsville at 5 p.m. No. 2 Gaylesville and No. 3 Cedar Bluff clash when the first match ends, probably around 6 p.m. First serve for the championship game should come about 7 p.m.
The first and second teams from Area 13 advance to the North Super-Regional tournament at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville on October 25-26. Area 13 will cross with Area 10. Spring Garden coach Ben Carroll said a win in the Area 13 tournament would probably allow his team to avoid a strong Lynn team in its first match in Huntsville.
“Lynn came out (of Huntsville) No. 2 (behind Addison) last year. … They lost a couple (of players) but they’re very strong, very strong,” Carroll said. “We definitely need to win our area so we can match up with their runner-up.”
In action last week, Spring Garden finished second in its pool at the West End tournament Saturday then lost to host West End in the single-elimination championship bracket.
The Panthers started Saturday with a 25-19, 25-19 win over Piedmont. Haley Motes and Madison Sides had nine kills apiece. Sides added eight digs and Motes had six digs and a block. Darby Bryant recorded 12 assists.
In their second match, the Panthers lost to Geraldine 26-24, 25-14. Sides had six kills. Motes had four kills, six digs and two blocks. Emory Reedy had three kills while Dallas Smith had two kills and two blocks. Bryant led on defense with 10 digs.
Needing a win in their third pool play match in order to advance, Spring Garden edged Sand Rock 2-1. The Panthers won the first set 25-21, lost the second 11-25 then won the third 16-14. Carroll said after winning the first set his players relaxed and fell behind 11-1 early in the second.
“It’s scary but at least they can bounce back after getting down so bad,” he said of their tendency to lose focus.
Smith and Motes each had five kills. Motes added 10 digs and a block and Smith had three blocks. McKenzie Micha had 11 digs and Maddie Micha had seven digs. Bryant had four assists and three aces. Sides contributed three kills. Reedy had two kills and two aces.
In the West End match, Spring Garden fell 25-21, 25-18. Motes recorded six kills and three blocks. Sides had five kills. Bryant handed out six assists and made eight digs. Smith had two kills and one block.
The Panthers were to complete regular-season action Tuesday in Anniston against host Sacred Heart and Saks.