E.A. Sports Today

Saturday roundup

Saks finishes second in Georgia, Oxford finishes second in its bracket in Hartselle

By East Alabama Sports Today

CARROLLTON, Ga. – The third-ranked Saks volleyball team ventured across state lines this weekend to see some different competition and it almost came back home with a championship.

The Lady Wildcats went 5-1 in the Carrollton High School Varsity Invitational Saturday and lost to North Paulding 25-17, 21-25, 15-13 in the title match. They came from behind to win the second set and had a lead in the tiebreaker.

“It was probably the best volleyball we played this year,” Saks coach Randy Law said. “I hope it’s because we just work hard and are getting better every day.”

Saks (23-3) defeated Carrollton, Brookstone, Haralson County, Alexander and Northgate all in straight sets to reach the finals

As they have all season, the Lady Wildcats got consistently strong performances throughout the lineup. Maiya Northard had 26 kills and eight blocks. Tayler Teague had 25 kills, six aces and five blocks. Baylee Snider had 19 kills, 10 assists and six blocks. Jordan Briskey had 54 kills and six blocks. Jaelyn Wilson had 98 assists.

Oxford second in silver bracket

HARTSELLE – The Lady Yellow Jackets were at something of a crossroads after completing pool play in the Eddie Pruitt Invitational. A little heart-to-heart got them back on track and they came back to finish second in the Silver Bracket, falling in the title match in three sets.

They went 4-3 in the two-day tournament, losing to West Morgan in the bracket final 23-25, 25-17, 15-13. They were ahead 12-10 in the tiebreaker.

“After we finished pool play we talked to them about heart, leadership and willingness to want to play and make a team earn a point not give them a point by having unforced errors,” assistant coach Rachel Poe said. “They responded, even though we lost to Pelham the next match (21-25, 25-16, 14-16).

“We are proud of the aggressiveness the girls showed up at the net and the way they responded after our talk. They came together and played as a team. They motivated and encouraged one another.”

The Jackets opened the tournament Friday by beating to DAR and falling to Hartselle in three sets. On Saturday, in addition to the losses to Pelham and West Morgan, they defeated Winston County (25-16, 19-25, 15-8), Randolph (25-16, 25-20) and DAR (25-15, 25-11).

Nyia Archie and Winter Taylor led the Yellow Jackets with 36 kills each in the tournament; Archie also had 10 blocks and Taylor four. Breanna Nolan had 32 kills, five aces, four blocks and 83 digs. Laura Davenport had 22 kills, eight aces and 34 digs. Sara Connell had 22 kills and 14 digs. Chloe Stone had 50 digs and 143 assists. Karagan Timmons had 78 digs.

“Even though we didn’t win the championship game of the bracket, we have a lot of positive takeaways from the weekend,” Poe said. “We are beginning to play together more as a team and are becoming more consistent on the court. We just need to keep improvement and hopefully we will be ready to peak once the postseason approaches.”

Volleyball coaches: If you like seeing this detailed coverage of your sport, report your matches to East Alabama Sports Today at 239-6715.

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