Thompson sweeps Albertville to earn state tournament berth
Published 5:06 pm Thursday, October 26, 2023
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
HUNTSVILLE – The Thompson Warriors are headed back to the Class 7A State Tournament after a dominant showing at the North Regional Tournament on Thursday, Oct. 26 inside Huntsville’s Von Braun Center.
The Warriors, who were fresh off winning the area tournament title over Hoover, took on Albertville in the opening round of the regional tournament and left no doubt en route to a 3-0 (25-8, 25-14, 25-14 sweep).
With the win, Thompson not only advanced to the final day of regionals but back to the state tournament.
“It’s been our mission to get back to the Birmingham CrossPlex. 26.8 miles from Thompson to the Birmingham CrossPlex,” Thompson head coach Judy Green said. “That was our mission, and we did it. We still have a lot of work left to do.”
Thompson looked like a team on a mission in the opening set, which set the tone for the entirety of the match.
The Warriors came out flying and jumped out to a 12-3 lead with a hot start in all facets of the game.
That carried throughout the set, as the Warriors never allowed Albertville to get closer than 11 the rest of the way, pulling away for a dominant 25-8 start and 1-0 lead.
Albertville showed more fight early in the second set, but after Thompson fought to a 9-8 lead, Kenzley Foote stepped to the service line on her 16th birthday and helped create some separation.
After students sang her happy birthday during warmups, she rewarded them by helping Thompson win five consecutive points to create some separation.
That completely swung the momentum of the set, as the Warriors eventually went up 18-9 and never looked back on their way to a 25-14 set victory that brought them to with a set of the state tournament.
Now close to taking the next step in their mission, the Warriors didn’t relinquish the pressure, controlling the early portion of the third set by jumping out to a big 14-2 lead.
That became way too much for Albertville, who was able to fight back slightly with a 5-0 run at one point, but never could erase the deficit.
Thompson went on to claim the third set 25-14, picking up the straight-set victory.
Heading to the state tournament, Green said her team will be able to do whatever they put their minds to as a team.
“Anything they want,” Green said of what this team is capable of now. “I know my team really well, and I know they’ll be ready.”
Thompson’s first game at state will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 10:30 a.m.