Warriors fall to defending volleyball champions Huntsville [UPDATED]Published 3:15pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013
By DREW GRANTHUM/ Sports Writer
BIRMINGHAM — The Thompson Warriors fell in the Elite Eight round of the AHSAA Class 6A state volleyball championship to the four-time defending Huntsville Panthers, 3-1, but the Warriors didn’t go quietly.
Beginning with the first set, the Warriors shocked the Panthers by taking a convincing 25-15 win to go up 1-0 in match play.
While Thompson did not capture another set win, the Warriors hung tough, falling to Huntsville 20-25, 23-25 and 19-25 to end the match.
Despite the loss, head coach Kellyanne Gandy said she could not be happier with the team’s effort.
“I’m extremely proud of the girls,” she said. “We started off with great energy. (We) can’t look at the season with just one loss.”
Gandy went on to say the performance gave the team momentum headed into next season.
“It’s a huge stride,” she said. “I don’t know if we’ve ever beaten Huntsville. I think we shocked ourselves.”
Kelsey Bivins led Thompson with 25 kills, six blocks and four digs, while Taylin McCarver had eight kills and five blocks, Milea Ray had 14 digs, August Newberry had seven digs and an ace, and Tara Miller had four blocks, 40 assists and three aces.
The Warriors finished the season with a 28-13 record.