Jags, ’Cats, Lions and Panthers win area
Six more Shelby County volleyball teams advanced to a regional tournament Tuesday, with four of those teams capturing area championships.
Spain Park started the day with a 3-1 victory over Oak Mountain (25-12, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23) to reach the Class 6A, Area 10 tournament final. It wasn’t just an area final for the Jags (27-20), but a match against archrival Hoover (29-19).
Kelsey Williams led the Jaguars with 21 kills in a 3-2 victory for Spain Park to win the area championship.
The Jags jumped up 25-19 in the fist game and then began a back-and-forth battle with the Bucs. Hoover evened the match, 25-15, but Spain Park answered with a 25-23 win, followed by a 25-23 Hoover win. Spain Park sealed the title with a deciding, 18-16, victory in the fifth game.
Mallory Morgan added 10 kills for Spain Park, while Haley Hensely had 39 assists.
Spain Park will meet Area 11 runner-up Thompson at Mountain Brook Saturday at 10 a.m.
Also in Class 6A, Pelham (54-4) continued its quest for a state championship Tuesday at home by winning the Area 11 championship. The Panthers did so with wins over Hueytown (25-9, 25-9, 25-11) and Thompson (25-18, 25-13, 25-14).
Ally Slaughter led Pelham in the tournament with 26 kills, while Whitney Billings followed with 21. Lindsey Young had 63 assists, including 42 in the title match against Thompson. Billings also added three blocks and 11 digs in the tournament, while Slaughter had three blocks against Hueytown.
Pelham will also play at Mountain Brook Saturday, meeting Hoover at 10 a.m.
In Class 5A, Shelby County and Briarwood both won area titles Tuesday, with Chelsea battling close in a first round area match.
The Shelby County Wildcats defeated Sylacauga in the first match of the Area 7 tournament in their home gym, and then went on to beat Moody for the title 13-25, 25-17, 25-13 and 25-6. Danitra Lee led the Wildcats with 32 kills in the tournament, while Andrea Corely had 23. Meagan Billingsley and Devon Vansant had 29 and 24 assists, respectively.
Briarwood caught a bye through the first round at its home court in Area 8, as John Carroll held on against Chelsea in games one and two before pulling away in game three (25-23, 29-27, 25-10).
John Carroll’s excitement carried over into the area final against Briarwood, taking the first game, 25-19. But Briarwood head coach Justin Dee challenged his team to play its best, and the girls responded, sweeping the next three games 25-15, 25-22 and 25-16.
Amy Hale and Julia Hoke each had 15 kills in the match. Hoke also had three blocks, while Hale had one. Elizabeth Reiser had seven kills. Defensively, Lauren Parks had 14 digs, while Hannah Waid had 19 assists.
Briarwood will host the regional tournament Saturday. The Lions will meet Carver-Montgomery at 10 a.m. John Carroll will play Chilton County at 11:15 a.m. Shelby County will meet Beuregard at 10 a.m.
In Class 4A, Calera advances to a regional as the runner-up in Area 7. Jemsion defeated the Eagles in four games 27-25, 25-12, 22-25 and 25-11.
Calera will travel to Corner Saturday, where it will meet Central-Coosa at 10 a.m.
Montevallo and Indian Springs advanced from their areas on Monday.
The top four teams from each region will advance to a round of sub-state matches to be played Oct. 23. Each sub-state winner will advance to the state tournament at the Pelham Civic Complex Oct. 29-30.