Kingwood volleyball headed back to Final Four

Kingwood Christian School volleyball coach John Jones wasn’t too surprised as his Lions captured the 2008 Alabama Independent School Association title.

Jones was amazed by what his Lions, with few players back from the 2008 championship team, did Tuesday at an AISA Class 2A regional volleyball tournament at Prattville Christian.

The Lions will return to the Class 2A Final Four at Faulkner University in Montgomery on Saturday following a runner-up finish at the regional tournament.

“We had two or three players that were sick,” Jones said. “For what we did, I thought it was pretty cool. We just had enough energy to get over the hump.”

Kingwood (25-13) defeated Edgewood Academy 25-17, 25-17, 25-12 in the quarterfinals and beat Southern Academy 25-19, 25-22, 25-20 in the semifinals. The Lions fell to Clarke Prep 25-17, 25-20, 25-9 in the championship game.

The Lions will face rival Morgan Academy at 10 a.m. in the semifinals Saturday.

Senior Lauren Rozof led Kingwood with a total of 27 kills and nine blocks in the three-game tournament. Whitney Jones added 17 assists and 14 aces. Karley Chamblee added nine aces and 10 assists. Katie McElroy had eight digs and five aces.

Jones didn’t have high expectations for his team when the season began in August. However, he’s been to the Final Four enough times that he’s become accustomed to its unpredictability. Jones knows the Lions have a difficult path to a second-consecutive title. He said Morgan “may be the most athletic team” in Class 2A.

“We’ve made it to the Final Four,” Jones said. “Now anything can happen.”

The Cornerstone Christian School volleyball team defeated Jackson Academy in the quarterfinals of an AISA Class 1A regional tournament Monday at Pickens Academy.

The Chargers were swept by No. 1 seed Sumter Academy in the semifinals and came up just short of reaching the Class 1A Final Four.

With the quarterfinal game being played at 9 a.m., Cornerstone coach Joey Miller was a little worried about how his team would fare with the early start.

“The girls played extremely well,” Miller said. “They were focused considering we left at 5:30 (in the) morning to get here.”

The Chargers were led by Bethany Webb, who had four aces, three digs and seven kills against Jackson Academy. Kailey Goodwin added four aces, two digs and seven kills as Cornerstone won the match 25-14, 25-10, 12-25, 25-14.

Mark Windham contributed to this report.