Pelham wins fourth consecutive area tournament
Pelham volleyball assistant coach Tien Le saw a team make a miraculous comeback with its playoff ambition as the driving force Oct. 13 in the Class 6A, Area 11 tournament.
The Thompson Warriors regrouped after dropping the first two sets of an Area 11 semifinal match with Minor before rallying to win the final three sets. The Warriors even took the opening set of the championship game against Pelham before Le’s Panthers took control to win their fourth consecutive area championship.
Le hopes to see the same fire from his Pelham team when the Panthers face a win-or-go-home situation Oct. 17 in a Class 6A regional tournament similar to the one Thompson faced in the Area 11 tournament.
“I think Thompson came in with nothing to lose and that’s the way they played,” Le said. “Tonight’s match helped us mentally prepare for the region tournament.”
Both Pelham and Thompson advanced to a Class 6A regional tournament.
Ally Slaughter and Toni Wellborn recorded eight kills each as the Panthers improved to 39-3 overall with a 19-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-16 win over Thompson. Dana Allen added six kills in the championship game.
Lindsey Young led Pelham with 14 kills and 17 assists in a 25-6, 25-16, 25-15 win over Hueytown in the semifinals. Parsha Tolbert added six kills and Elsa Sims had 15 assists.
Thompson advanced to the Area 11 final with a 19-25, 24-26, 25-17, 25-14, 15-10 win over Minor in the semifinals.
Holli Brown led the Warriors with 24 kills in the tournament. Michelle Chase had 14 kills and 11 digs in the semifinal win over Minor. Stephanie Giddens had 31 assists in the win.
In other area tournament action Oct. 13, Briarwood Christian swept John Carroll Catholic in the Class 5A, Area 8 championship game 25-19, 25-16, 25-17 to advance to a Class 5A regional tournament. Sarah Kate Bracewell led the Lions with 14 kills. Susanna McKinney recorded a team-high 22 assists.
Briarwood coach Justin Dee said McKinney and fellow setter Hannah Waid played a pivotal role in the Lions’ offensive attack.
“Our setters had a great night,” Dee said. “They did a great job making opportunities for our outside hitters. They made great decisions.”
Chelsea saw its season end with a 25-27, 18-25, 18-25 loss to John Carroll in a Class 5A, Area 8 tournament semifinal.
Oak Mountain defeated Hoover 25-18, 25-18, 26-24 in the Class 6A, Area 10 championship game to advance to a Class 6A regional tournament. Gabbi Rush led the Eagles with six kills in the title match. Samantha Skinner added five kills and six digs. Chelsea Payne finished with 16 assists.
Skinner had a team-high seven kills as Oak Mountain swept Jess Lanier 25-11, 25-9, 25-12 in the Class 6A, Area 10 semifinals. Rian Imwalle had 15 assists and eight aces.
Spain Park ended its season with a loss to Hoover in the Class 6A, Area 10 semifinals.
Calera advanced to the Class 4A, Area 7 championship game before falling to host Jemison 15-25, 13-25, 26-24, 12-25. Calera defeated Bibb County 25-19, 25-11, 25-17 in the semifinals. La’Jacqueline Morgan had a team-high 28 kills during the tournament. A’Kia Harris added 18 kills. Katelyn Dean had 15 digs. Kellie Rasmussen had 38 assists and six aces.
The Eagles will play in a Class 4A regional tournament Oct. 17.
Shelby County defeated Talladega 31-33, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20 in the Class 5A, Area 7 semifinals before falling to host Moody 20-25, 22-25, 21-25 in the championship game. Senior Andrea Corley, junior Alysia Perkins and sophomore Brittani Morris were named to the all-area team.
The Wildcats will play in a Class 5A regional tournament Oct. 17.
In Oct. 12 area tournament action, Montevallo swept Sumter County 25-19, 25-16, 25-19 in the Class 3A, Area 6 championship game. Amber Cardwell led the Bulldogs (14-11) with 15 kills. Mallory Anderson had 13 kills and a team-high 10 digs. Cloe Jones had 24 assists and eight aces. The Bulldogs advanced to a Class 3A regional tournament Oct. 17 at Montgomery Academy.
Vincent’s season ended with a 6-25, 5-25, 3-25 loss to Shades Mountain Christian in the Class 2A, Area 8 tournament semifinals. Michelle Brasher and Letha Burns had one kill each for the Yellow Jackets.
Indian Springs fell to Altamont in the Class 3A, Area 9 tournament semifinals.