E.A. Sports Today

County volleyball roundup

[corner-ad id=2]Jacksonville strong front and back; Faith digs up a victory; Donoho, Saks win; County Tournament update

 (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

(Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

By East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Good play from the back and at the net, especially late in the match, combined to bring Jacksonville a pair of volleyball wins Thursday night.

The Golden Eagles, ranked seventh in Class 4A this week, took down Boaz 25-14, 25-17, and then outdueled No. 6-3A Geraldine 26-24, 26-24.

Aniyah Robinson had 12 kills and four aces for Jacksonville (10-5). Elizabeth Poe had 10 kills, four aces and two blocks; Halee Holtbrooks had three kills, three aces and 46 assists; and Sarah Lumpkin had 11 kills and nine blocks.

“We served really well; that was the main difference in the match with (Geraldine),” Jacksonville coach David Clark said. “And we had some big blocks late and those points add up.”

The Golden Eagles trailed 23-21 in their second set with Geraldine. Lumpkin, whose confidence grows with her experience, had back-to-back blocks to get them even, and then they won it on back-to-back aces by Canady.

“Any time you get points off one contact that’s nice, especially late,” Clark said.

COUNTY TOURNAMENT UPDATE: Clark confirmed a change in the format for this year’s Calhoun County Volleyball Tournament.

All the preliminary rounds will be played at Jacksonville High School Oct. 3, but the championship match will move to the refurbished floor at Jacksonville State Oct. 5. The tournament seeding meeting remains Sept. 23.

“It’s an idea that came about when (former principal Rick Carter) was with us and we talked about since it was our year to host we’d try to get some of the county events to JSU on a bigger stage,” Clark said. “I like the idea because by the time you get to the end of the county tournament you’re exhausted and I don’t think you’re getting everybody’s best volleyball.

“I think it’s a better situation for both those teams (in the finals). … I think it becomes more of an event than making it a whole day at the county.”

The county basketball tournament already is held at JSU’s Pete Mathews Coliseum. The arena has been getting an overhaul this summer and it is expected to be ready in time for the tournament.

If not, the finals likely would go back to Jacksonville High School Oct. 5.

“They should be finishing up,” Clark said. “Nobody called and said we’ve got a problem. I guess if we do, we’ll play it Monday at our place.”


The Lady Lions (6-2) played some of their best volleyball of the season, recording 12 aces and 37 digs in winning 25-16, 25-19, 25-13.

Madison Stephens filled up the box score with eight kills, six aces, seven digs and three blocks. Cornelia Simpson had six kills, eight digs and five blocks; Nicole Frechette had four kills, three aces and eight digs; and Abby Emerson had six digs and 20 assists.

“I thought we played some of the best volleyball we had all year,” Faith coach Bradley Dawson said. “We had some missed serves early in the first set, but came back the next two and closed the deal.

“I’m really proud of how we played. We have a really tough weekend coming up and are going to need all 11 girls to step up to give us a chance.”

The Lady Lions return to the floor Saturday in the Sandy Hunter Invitational Saturday at Pleasant Valley. They’ve been placed in a pool with Jacksonville, Saks, Briarwood Christian and Sand Rock. PV, Holy Spirit, Sylvania, Donoho and Geraldine are in the other pool. Seven of the 10 teams are ranked in this week’s statewide prep poll.


HEFLIN – The third-ranked Lady Wildcats worked on their blocking skills in practice the last two days and it paid off in their second area victory. They beat the Lady Tigers 25-12, 25-11, 25-14.

Maiya Northard had eight kills and six blocks to lead the Lady Wildcats (12-1). Jordan Briskey and Tayler Teague had 14 and 11 kills, respectively, and combined for five aces. Jaelyn Wilson had 35 assists.

Saks has lost only one set in its 12 victories.

“We played pretty well,” Saks coach Randy Law said. “We had one little spurt where we lost our concentration in the third game, but we picked it up. Overall, we played really well.

“We worked hard yesterday in practice on blocking. If we do better in that department, we’re going to be OK.”

The Lady Wildcats go after their third straight area win Tuesday night in a huge early-season showdown at Jacksonville. They are expected to meet the Golden Eagles in the Sandy Hunter Invitational this weekend.


The once-beaten second-ranked Lady Falcons (10-1) opened their area schedule with a 25-12, 25-3, 25-12 victory.

Camille Fink had 10 kills, Madison Gaines had nine kills and a block, Anna Marie Woodfin and Camryn Swain each had five digs, Kayla Wallace had seven aces and six digs, and Katie Brown had seven aces and 22 assists.

(On the cover: Jacksonville coach David Clark talks with his team during a recent match.)

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