SAKS — As Calhoun County’s volleyball coaches predicted at the seeding meeting Sept. 16, it will be No. 1-seeded Alexandria and No. 2 Jacksonville playing Monday for the championship of the 48th annual Calhoun County volleyball tournament.
Monday’s match will be played at Pete Mathews Coliseum on the Jacksonville State University campus with the opening serve scheduled for 6 p.m.
This year’s title match is a repeat of last year’s, which was won by Alexandria 3-1. Alexandria coach Whitney Welch is looking to guide her Valley Cubs to their third straight county tournament championship. If the Cubs win, it will be the first time one school has won at least three in a row since David Clark’s Jacksonville Golden Eagles won four straight from 2008-11.
Clark’s Jacksonville teams have captured 10 county tournament titles, tying him with former Pleasant Valley coach Sandy Hunter for most county tournament championships as a coach. A Jacksonville win Monday will propel Clark past Hunter.
Alexandria (28-11) survived homecoming Friday night to defeat Wellborn 3-0 in the quarterfinal round and No. 5 Pleasant Valley 25-20, 24-26, 25-23, 25-16 in the semifinals. Not only was it homecoming, six of the 10 members of the homecoming court were volleyball players.
“Even if they did sleep some, there were lots of distractions, even more than there are already, so it’s hard,” Welch said.
Senior outside hitter Jordan Beason and junior middle hitter Lexi Weber led Alexandria past Pleasant Valley. Weber had 23 kills, three blocks and three aces. Beason finished with 22 kills and 16 digs. Setter Anna Johnson distributed 48 assists and made four kills in the process. Libero Sarah Pelham led in digs with 15 and Kaylee Smith had 13 digs.
While Beason had just four hitting errors and Weber five, Welch was concerned about other errors.
“When we are playing well, we control the ball well. We usually swing offensively well. I thought we had more hitting errors today than normal,” Welch said.
Senior Leah Patterson led Pleasant Valley (20-4) with 13 kills and Lily Henry added 10 kills. Middle Tori turner had six blocks and four kills. Setter Rylee Haynes contributed 27 assists, 11 digs and three kills. Libero Allie Bryant made 39 digs and served three aces.
“This was a very long week. We had a game Monday, a game Tuesday, a doubleheader on Thursday and all of those were 3-out-of-5s and we’re just coming off quarantine,” Raiders coach Dana Bryant said. “We had a packed week and then three 3-out-of-5s today. By this last game, we were putting all we had into it — that was just all we had left.”
While Alexandria survived its homecoming, Donoho, the No. 3 seed, did not fare as well. No. 6 Oxford defeated the Falcons for the first time in five tries in the quarterfinal round. As a result, Jacksonville (30-7) faced Oxford, not Donoho, in its semifinal match.
The Yellow Jackets started strong, winning the opening set 25-22. Behind the hitting of senior Brenna Stone, the Eagles won the final by taking the next three sets 25-17, 25-9, 25-23. Stone was particularly effective hitting from the back row. She said Oxford’s blocking gave Jacksonville trouble on the front row early.
“From the back row, I was trying to be as active as possible so we could stay in that rotation and keep playing and play through it,” Stone said.
Stone ended with 32 kills in the Oxford match. Middle Aly Harris contributed 12 kills and eight blocks. Kayla Broom had 11 kills, six blocks and 14 digs for Jacksonville. Setter Molly Wilson passed out 45 assists and made 10 kills.
Stone said she and her teammates were hoping “to get revenge on the team that beat us last year” at Pete Mathews Coliseum on Monday.
Lakijah Brown led Oxford against Jacksonville with nine kills, 10 digs and three blocks. Lisa Montgomery had six kills, Channing Gallahar four, Javanti Moore three and Abbie Mitchell three. Montgomery added four blocks and Moore three. Aametria Wilson led in digs with 12 and Arianna Curry made 10 digs.
In Oxford’s 25-20, 25-22, 24-36, 25-12 win over Donoho, Brown had 26 kills, 12 digs and three blocks. Moore and Montgomery each added eight kills. Adrionna Foster handed out 43 assists. Wilson made 16 digs and Curry 11.
Saturday’s preliminary volleyball results at a glance
At No. 1 Alexandria
No. 9 Wellborn d. No. 8 Piedmont 25-7, 23-25, 25-17, 25-11
Wellborn’s top performers:
—Kinlee Pritchett, eight kills
—Keivianna Crumb, five kills
—Gracie Lewis, 21 assists, three aces, five digs
—Heather Downs, three blocks, three aces, three kills
—Brooklyn Singleton, eight assists
—Kyra Tirban, four digs
—Delane Stephens, four digs
Piedmont’s top performers:
—Lele Ridley, seven kills
—Z’Hayla Walker, five kills, two aces, three blocks
—Jaycee Glover, 15 assists, nine digs
—Jenna Calvert, four kills, two aces, seven digs
—Reese Franklin, three kills, six digs
—Emma Grace Todd, two kills, three digs
No. 1 Alexandria d. No. 9 Wellborn 25-5. 25-11, 25-5
Alexandria’s top performers:
—Lexi Weber, 17 kills
—Jordan Beason, 11 kills
—Anna Johnson, 23 assists, two aces
—Sarah Pelham, 10 digs
—Rylee Gattis, five kills
—TyShica Woodgett, four kills
—Blakeley Mobbs, three kills
—Crossley Sparks, four aces, four assists
At No. 2 Jacksonville
No. 7 White Plains d. No. 10 Saks 22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-10
White Plains' top performers:
—Gracie Morgan, 19 kills, seven digs
—Bella Higgins, six kills, three blocks
—Lily Ponder, five kills, nine digs, two blocks
—Ashlyn Cryer, four kills, 12 digs, two aces
—Natalie Pinto, 27 assists
—Emma Ponder, 27 digs, three aces
Saks' top performers:
—Tamryn Pierce, nine kills
—Jade Daniel, four kills
—Stormy Nolen, 17 assists
—Sa’Nya Fleming, three aces, three kills
—Aleta Graham, three kills
—Desteny Hudson, two kills
No. 2 Jacksonville d. No. 7 White Plains 25-11, 25-17, 25-18
Jacksonville’s outstanding performers:
—Kayla Broom, 16 kills, eight blocks
—Brenna Stone, 15 kills, three blocks
—Molly Wilson, 24 assists
—Caitlin Clark, 13 digs, four kills
—Aly Harris, seven kills
White Plains' top performers:
—Ashlyn Cryer, eight kills, 11 digs, three aces
—Gracie Morgan, five kills, nine digs
—Bella Higgins, four kills
—Kassidy Ledbetter, three kills
—Emma Ponder, 18 digs, one ace
—Natalie Pinto, 15 assists, six digs
—Reese Roberts, six assists, one ace
At No. 3 Donoho
No. 11 Weaver defeated No. 14 Anniston by forfeit
No. 6 Oxford d. No. 11 Weaver 25-9, 25-12, 25-17
Oxford’s top performers:
—Lakijah Brown, 10 kills, seven digs
—Lisa Montgomery, five kills
—Javanti Moore, five kills
—Adrionna Foster, 27 assists
—Asmetria Wilson, 14 digs
Weaver’s top performers:
—Americus Conner, four kills, two digs
—Madison Atchley, three kills, two assists
—Makayla Lilio, three kills
—Kynlee Fulmer, seven assists, two digs
—Hannah Hise, two kills
—Keelie Leach, four digs
No. 6 Oxford d. No. 3 Donoho 25-20, 25-22, 24-26, 25-12
At No. 4 Ohatchee
No. 13 Faith Christian d. No. 12 Jacksonville Christian 25-20, 24-26, 25-18, 25-20
Faith Christian’s top performers
—Kennedy Vincent, nine kills, one block
—Meagan Ford, six kills, three aces, one block
—Kelsey Brown, five kills, four aces, three blocks
No. 5 Pleasant Valley d. No. 13 Faith Christian 25-11, 25-11, 25-21
Faith Christian’s top performers
—Kennedy Vincent, six kills, one block
—Meagan Ford, four kills, two blocks, two aces
—Gabrielle Price, six digs, one block, one ace, one kill
No. 5 Pleasant Valley d. No. 4 Ohatchee 22-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-20
Ohatchee’s top performers:
—Jorda Crook, 20 kills, five blocks, three aces
—Gracee Haynes, 10 kills, 14 digs
—Gracie George, nine kills
—Tori Vice, two kills, four blocks, 15 digs
—Abby Hester, 16 assists
—Millie Rainwater, 11 assists
Pleasant Valley’s top performers:
—Leah Patterson, 16 kills, three blocks, eight digs
—Lily Henry, 12 kills, four blocks
—Rylee Haynes, six kills, 32 assists
—Madison Borders, five kills, two aces, five digs
—Maddie Schwabe, four kills, 12 digs
—Allie Bryant, 31 digs, four aces, three kills
—Tori Turner, four blocks, two kills