Thompson clinches spot in Elite Eight

Published 9:27 am Monday, October 29, 2012

By MICKEL PONTHIEUX / Sports Reporter

MONTGOMERY – The Thompson Lady Warriors defeated county-rival Pelham in a thrilling five-set match to move on to the Elite Eight state volleyball tournament in Birmingham.

Thompson (24-20) took a 2-0 lead in the match with a pair of 25-21 set victories.

The Lady Panthers (19-21) avoided the sweep with a 25-15 third set victory, then forced a decisive fifth set by edging out Thompson 25-22 in the fourth.

Thompson clinched a spot in the Class 6A championship with a 15-8 fifth set victory for the 3-2 match win.

Kelsea Bivins led Thompson with 28 kills and 20 digs. August Newberry added 30 digs while Tara Miller posted a team-high 44 assists. Milea Ray added 10 kills and 21 digs.

Caitland Smith led Pelham with 27 kills and six blocks while Bradleigh Smith and Autumn Wild Hiett each had 13 kills. Hayley Brisendine led the Lady Panthers’ defense with 12 digs while Haeden Tucker had 11 digs and five kills. Emily Jackson finished with 52 assists.

Thompson finished the super regional tournament as the No. 4 seed headed into the Elite Eight state tournament following 3-0 losses to McGill-Toolen and Carver-Montgomery.

The Lady Warriors will take on Huntsville at 3 p.m. on Oct. 31 at the Birmingham Metro CrossPlex.

Thompson advanced to the match against Pelham with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-20) win over Daphne in the first round.

Pelham defeated Enterprise 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 28-26) in the first round of the south super regional.