Count Donoho volleyball coach Jamie Clendenin among those surprised at the Falcons' stellar record this season. He did his best to make it harder on them.
"I loaded our schedule, knowing that, if we didn't show up to play, then there would be more losses," he said. "We've been fortunate enough to where, when the game is on the line and there's somebody that we're playing that's real, real competitive, we have, so far, risen to the occasion."
Donoho will hold the No. 1 seed for the 2021 Calhoun County volleyball tournament, as selected by Wednesday's vote of county coaches.
The tournament runs Oct. 2-4 at Weaver and Alexandria, with the championship match set for Jacksonville State University's Pete Mathews Coliseum.
The full list of seeds is as follows: 1. Donoho (24-3), 2. Alexandria (15-6), 3. Jacksonville (11-9), 4. Pleasant Valley (7-9), 5. Piedmont (17-4), 6. Wellborn (14-4), 7. Ohatchee (12-4), 8. Oxford (9-11), 9. Weaver (9-14), 10. White Plains (3-17), 11. Faith Christian (3-11), 12. Saks (6-13), 13. Jacksonville Christian (2-3), 14. Anniston.
Anniston will not play in the tourney and, therefore, forfeit its game, meaning No. 11 Faith Christian will advance to the second round.
Class 1A Donoho is 24-3 overall with an 8-0 record against county teams, including No. 2 seed Alexandria, Class 5A's fourth-ranked team. Alexandria is 6-1 against county competition, its lone loss being to Donoho.
Jacksonville is the reigning county champion. The Golden Eagles beat Alexandria in the 2020 final.
Donoho lost two-time Class 1A-3A Calhoun County player of the year Maggie Miller to graduation, but freshman Sam Wakefield, younger sister to senior hitter Maggie Wakefield, has stepped in well after early growing pains, Clendenin said.
Clendenin also diversified the Falcons' offense with inside sets as well as outside sets.
Donoho finished the 2020 season as Class 1A state runner-up. They won the 1A state title, the program's 11th state title, in 2019.
2021 Calhoun County volleyball tournament
Saturday, Oct. 2
(At Weaver High School)
Oxford vs. Weaver, 8 a.m.
Ohatchee vs. White Plains, 10 a.m.
Alexandria vs. Ohatchee/White Plains, noon
Semifinal, 2 p.m.
(At Alexandria High School)
Saks vs. Jacksonville Christian, 8 a.m
Piedmont vs. Saks-JCA winner, 10 a.m.
Faith Christian vs. Wellborn, 10 a.m.
Donoho vs. Oxford/Weaver, noon
Jacksonville vs. Faith /Wellborn, noon
Semifinal, 2 p.m.
(At Alexandria Middle School)
Pleasant Valley vs. Piedmont/Saks/JCA, noon
Monday, Oct. 4
(At Pete Mathews Coliseum)
Championship, 7 p.m.