Montevallo sweeps Bibb County to win area tournament

Published 9:54 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

MONTEVALLO – The Montevallo Bulldogs are heading back to the state tournament after defeating the Bibb County Choctaws, 3-0, at home on Tuesday, Oct. 17 to clinch the area title.

With the win, the Bulldogs have completed a perfect 5-0 run through area opponents after sweeping the season series against West Blocton and Bibb County to secure hosting rights and a bye to the championship game in the area tournament, which they then won to take the crown.

Despite Montevallo taking all three sets, it wasn’t a walk in the park for the Bulldogs to claim the title in front of their home fans after Bibb County gave the hosts all they could handle.

After Bibb County took down West Blocton in the semifinals, the Choctaws entered their matchup with the Bulldogs looking to carry that momentum into the title game.

That’s exactly what happened as the teams carried a tight battle into the final points of the set. Montevallo used its lead to carry it to set point, which the Bulldogs took.

Montevallo won the first set, 25-21, and that four-point win to go up 1-0 in the match only set the stage for the fight to come.

The second set was even closer as Bibb County hoped to tie the match and avoid going down 2-0 in the series. The Choctaws and Bulldogs were neck-and-neck down the stretch, and Bibb County had a chance to force the set into extra points.

However, Montevallo remained strong and took care of set point without having to worry about a bonus pair of points. The Bulldogs won the second set, 25-23, and that gave Montevallo a 2-0 lead with a chance to win the title in the third set.

The Bulldogs needed just one more set win from their next three chances to walk away from the tournament victorious. While they led over Bibb County in the third set, the Choctaws were close enough to threaten the Bulldogs as Montevallo neared a win.

In the end, Montevallo did what they had done the last two sets and throughout the season and closed out the win. With a 25-21 win in the third set, the Bulldogs secured a straight-set win and the area championship.

Zoe Jones led the Bulldogs with a standout 24 kill night, and Hunter Jordan had 11 kills as the two spearheaded the offense. Both were set up well by Emeli Guardado and Jaida Heath, who both recorded 20 assists while splitting setter duties.

Jones and Bailey Hamrick tied for the digs lead with nine apiece, and Isabella Ramirez earned four digs. Guardado also had a great night from the service line as she earned four aces, and Riley Fletcher secured two aces.

Montevallo will advance to the South Regional Tournament at the Montgomery Multiplex from Oct. 26-27 as it hopes to make a run at the state title in Class 4A.