Host Saks defeated Pleasant Valley 25-23, 25-21 in the championship match of the annual Saks Invitational volleyball tournament. The Wildcats (7-0) remained undefeated after the new season’s first weekend. The loss to Saks was the first for the Raiders (5-1).

Saks fell behind early in each game then rallied to win. In the opener, Pleasant Valley led 9-4 but libero Tiffany Springer’s service ace put Saks up 18-17 and the Wildcats never trailed again. Back-to-back aces by Anna Bryant got Pleasant Valley close at 24-23. At that point, Saks coach Randy Law called a timeout and Pleasant Valley hit long on the ensuing point, ending the game.          

The Raiders led 10-4 in the second game when Law called another timeout. The scored was knotted at 12-12, 13-13 and 14-14 before a kill from the left side by Jordan Briskey earned Saks a 15-14 edge. The Wildcats claimed the next three points for an 18-14 advantaged and led by at least three points the rest of the way. A kill from the middle by Maiya Northard ended the game and the match.  

Taylor Teague led the Wildcats’ offense for the day with 19 kills and 11 aces. She added three blocks and 25 digs. Briskey had 17 kills and 16 digs. In the middle, Baylee Snider recorded 15 kills and four blocks and served five aces. Northard finished with 10 kills and six blocks. Springer picked up 33 digs on the back row. Jaelyn Wilson contributed 10 digs and five aces while D’Talya Lewis had four blocks, four aces and four kills.

Pleasant Valley benefited from Cammie Cochran’s 31 kills, 14 blocks and eight aces for the tournament. Taylor Cochran had 18 kills and 18 digs. Kaylee Benefield added 17 kills, 14 digs and six blocks. Jordan Moorer had 15 kills, seven aces and 41 digs. Bryant finished with 13 kills, four aces, 41 assists and 30 digs. Bailey Turner had 40 assists and 22 digs. Libero Abby Hedgepath had 40 digs and 10 aces and Anna Craven had 19 digs.

Sacred Heart won its first three matches in pool play and downed Pleasant Valley 25-14 in the first game when the two met in the final match of their pool before the Raiders handed Sacred Heart Its first loss of the season. Senior Zainab Sanusi delivered 19 kills and eight aces to pace Sacred Heart’s attack. Haley Shaw and Kristen Rothwell each had 11 kills. Shaw added 15 aces and Rothwell had five aces. Olivia Simmons added 23 blocks and six kills.

Ranburne also played well at Saks. The Bulldogs finished pool play 3-1, losing only to Saks.

Pleasant Valley will get another chance at Saks and Sacred Heart another opportunity against Pleasant Valley on Tuesday when the Raiders host the Wildcats and the Cardinals in a tri-match.          

Pool scores

Pool 1

Saks defeated Wellborn 26-24, 25-19; Ohatchee defeated Faith Christian 25-15, 25-11; Ranburne defeated Wellborn 25-23, 25-27, 15-2; Saks defeated Ohatchee 25-22, 25-18; Ranburne defeated Faith Christian 15-25, 25-15, 15-12; Ohatchee defeated Wellborn 25-23, 25-13; Saks defeated Ranburne 25-10, 25-23; Wellborn defeated Faith Christian 25-20, 25-14; Ranburne defeated Ohatchee 25-17, 25-17; Saks defeated Faith Christian 25-16, 25-10.

Pool 2

Pleasant Valley defeated Weaver 23-25, 25-13, 15-7; Sacred Heart defeated Cleburne County 27-25, 25-17; Etowah defeated Weaver 25-15, 25-8; Pleasant Valley defeated Cleburne County 25-11, 25-14; Sacred Heart defeated Etowah 25-27, 25-17, 15-5; Cleburne County defeated Weaver 25-17, 25-10; Pleasant Valley defeated Etowah 25-18, 25-8; Sacred Heart defeated Weaver 25-15, 25-8; Etowah defeated Cleburne County 25-20, 25-20; Pleasant Valley defeated Sacred Heart 14-25, 25-11, 15-9.

Donoho goes 1-4: Playing in the Mayor's Cup tournament in Montgomery, Donoho beat Prattville Christian 25-13, 25-13 but fell to Pelham 25-19, 25-16, Jeff Davis 26-24, 25-18, UMS-Wright 25-22, 20-25, 15-8; and Trinity 25-20, 25-15.

Jordan Ray had 15 kills, three aces, 35 assists and 19 digs for Donoho, while Camille Fink added 20 kills and four blocks. Kayla Wallace had 10 aces, nine kills and 23 digs. Hannah Christian contributed 15 kills and 18 blocks.

Donoho will play against Tuesday in a tri-match against Cedar Bluff and White Plains.

Oxford in Juanita Boddie Tournament: Oxford finished 3-3 in the tournament at Hoover High School over the weekend.

The Yellow Jackets knocked off Auburn 25-20, 25-15, Austin 25-18, 25-19 and Lawrence County 11-25, 25-18, 15-8, but fell to Grissom 25-20, 25-22, Sparkman 25-23, 26-24 and John Carroll 25-19, 25-18.

For the weekend, Breanna Nolan led the Jackets with 41 kills, 34 digs and seven aces. Nyia Archie added 21 kills, five aces, four digs and five blocks. Sara Connell finished with 17 kills, 21 digs and seven aces, and Morgan Whaley dished out 93 assists to go with 13 kills, 16 digs and four aces.

Oxford (5-3) will host Jacksonville and Benjamin Russell on Tuesday.