Oxford at Jax volleyball

Oxford’s Alexandria Gomez spike the ball into Jacksonville's Aniyah Jefferson and Brooke Murphy during the Oxford at Jacksonville AHSAA volleyball match. Photo by Stephen Gross / The Anniston Star

JACKSONVILLE — While the annual Calhoun County volleyball tournament doesn’t begin until Saturday morning, the last two tournament champions played a championship-worthy match Tuesday night as Oxford — the 2015 county champion — outlasted Jacksonville — last year’s champ — in five sets 19-25, 25-18, 25-20, 24-26, 15-11.

“It’s fun to be competitive and play a great team in a great match,” Oxford’s Wendy McKibbin said. “I saw a lot of great plays and great effort from players on both teams. It’s just fun to watch.

“This win means a lot because David (Clark) does a great job and always has a good team at Jacksonville. We found a way to win tonight and I think that’ll be great momentum for us heading into the county tournament on Saturday.”

Oxford (14-16) took a 1-0 lead to start the match but did not find itself leading until 3-2 in the second set. After which, the Yellow Jackets fell behind until taking an 11-10 lead later in the set. It was a lead Oxford did not relinquish en route to tying the match at one set apiece.

The two teams traded the lead numerous times during the third set before Oxford pulled out to a 21-16 lead and eventually took the third set. The fourth set saw the Yellow Jackets take an early lead, then Jacksonville’s resiliency showed as it fought off five potential match points in order to take the fourth set and force a decisive race to 15.

“I think the end of set four was something I was pleased with tonight,” Clark said. “Because we’ve been in the situation a couple of times in the past week and didn’t respond as well. I think it’s positive to see that response, but not being able to carry that momentum over into the next one wasn’t good.”

The fifth set opened with Jacksonville being called for a “five-second serving delay,” which led to the Yellow Jackets taking a 1-0 lead. However, the Golden Eagles bounced back by taking the next point, then led to trading points until Oxford took a 4-3 lead.

Jacksonville got as close as one point — 10-9 — in the set, but Oxford went on 5-2 scoring run to earn the victory.

Oxford’s top performers:

• Alexandria Gomez, eight kills, 12 digs

• MaKayla Kidd, 24 digs, five kills, two aces

• Emma Connell, 26 assists, five kills, three aces, nine digs

• Shania Vincent, six blocks, four digs, one ace, five kills

Jacksonville’ top performers:

• Elizabeth Poe, 15 kills, three blocks, one dig, one ace

• Aniya Jefferson, five kills, seven blocks, one ace

• Rae’Lynn Wychoff, nine kills, one ace

• Brenna Stone, eight kills, one block

• Brooke Murphy, four kills, three assists

Pleasant Valley 3, Alexandria 1: Pleasant Valley defeated Jacksonville in four sets Tuesday. The Raiders won 25-16, 19-25, 25-15, 25-23.

Pleasant Valley (32-3) hosts Weaver and Jacksonville on Thursday.

Pleasant Valley’s top performers:

• Anna Bryant, 21 digs, 19 assists, 13 kills, two aces, two blocks

• Mikayla Kendrick, 12 kills, five digs, three blocks

• Blakely Malsy, six kills, four blocks

• Savannah Williams, 11 assists, 10 digs, four kills, two blocks

• Alisa St. John, 12 kills, 12 digs, three aces, two blocks

• Madison Bentley, 19 digs

• Maggie Hedgepath, nine digs

Donoho 3, Ohatchee 1: Donoho knocked off Ohatchee 22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-21.

The Falcons (5-18) travel to White Plains on Thursday to face the Wildcats.

Donoho’s top performers:

• Leyden Orth, 10 kills, one ace

• Sarah Green, seven digs, six kills, five aces

• Jenna Stremmel, 22 digs, two aces

• Kate Porteous, five assists, four aces, four kills

• Mya Keel, 16 digs, seven kills

• Maggie Miller, 17 assists, 11 digs, five aces

Piedmont 3, Glencoe 1; Piedmont 2, Coosa Christian 0: Piedmont picked up a Class 3A, Area 10 win over Glencoe, defeating the Yellow Jackets 25-14, 25-11, 11-25, 25-12. The Bulldogs also defeated Coosa Christian 25-17, 25-21.

Piedmont (13-14) travels to Cedar Bluff on Thursday.

Piedmont’s top performers:

• Sydney Prater, 10 kills

• Samirra Braswell, eight kills, five blocks

• Lulu Jackson, 13 digs

• Katelyn Lawler, 12 digs

• Carsyn Morrow, seven aces

• Kaitlyn Ridley, 19 assists

• Mackenzie Tolbert, 13 assists

Faith Christian 3, Saks 2: Faith Christian defeated Saks in five sets, winning 25-16, 13-25, 25-23, 22-25, 16-14.

Saks (20-10) hosts Cleburne County on Thursday.

Saks’ top performers:

• Lanie Dreyer, six kills, six digs

• Lamonica Noel, nine kills, 14 digs, 15 blocks

• Izzy Shaver, 12 kills, four blocks

• Shamerrial Garrett, four kills, eight digs, five blocks

• Keira Burks, 22 digs

• Hali Brinson, 32 assists, two aces

• Mirian Ortiz, eight digs

Weaver 3, Wellborn 1: Weaver defeated Wellborn 25-27, 25-22, 25-17, 25-12.

Weaver’s top performers:

• Mariah Thompson, 14 kills

• Briana Ware, 12 kills

• Amira Carter, 20 assists.