E.A. Sports Today

6 county teams advance

Donoho, Alexandria, PV, Saks, Jacksonville, Oxford all survive at North super regional

By East Alabama Sports Today

HUNTSVILLE — One of the last things Saks coach Randy Law told his volleyball team after losing the area tournament final but knowing it was going to the next round was he was tired of going to the next stage and playing only one game.

The 4A Wildcats extended their stay in the North Super Regional Friday when they beat DAR in straight sets 25-14, 25-20, 25-18. In fact, two-thirds of the nine Calhoun County teams in the event lived to play another day.

“I’m happy to get past the first round,” Law said. “I don’t know how long it’s been (getting past the first round), but I know it hasn’t happened since I’ve been coaching and this is my fourth year back.”

Donoho (1A), Pleasant Valley (3A), Jacksonville (4A), Alexandria (5A) and Oxford (6A) also advanced to Saturday, one win away from a ticket to the Eight Eight next week in Birmingham. Ohatchee (3A), Wellborn (3A) and Faith Christian (1A) all were eliminated in three sets.

Donoho beat Athens Bible, PV beat Pisgah, Jacksonville beat Priceville, Alexandria beat West Point, and Oxford beat Austin (in five sets). Ohatchee lost to Geraldine, Faith fell to top-ranked Decatur Heritage, and Wellborn was eliminated by Plainview.

Jordan Briskey led Saks (46-7) with 15 kills and two blocks. Tayler Teague had 11 kills, four digs and two aces. Jaelyn Wilson had 24 assists.

“We played pretty well. I’m looking forward to tomorrow” when they draw one of the strongest teams in the state, 64-6 Carbon Hill.

In addition to the Saks-Carbon Hill match, Donoho (41-8) plays Cedar Bluff (16-24), Pleasant Valley (35-11) plays West Morgan, Jacksonville (27-11) plays Deshler (27-17), Alexandria (24-16) plays Randolph (15-19) and Oxford (38-17) plays Arab (48-2).
Pleasant Valley remembered the feeling of getting put out in one match last year and were determined not to have it happen again. The Raiders won 25-13, 25-21, 21-8.

“We actually had a team talk in the same spot we did last year after we lost and they remembered it,” PV coach Dana Bryant said. “They don’t want one of those talks this year.”

Donoho had a tough draw, but got past Athens Bible 25-13, 25-13, 25-12. Camille Fink led the “Super 8” with nine kills. Katie Brown had three kills, four aces and 19 assists. Madison Gaines had three kills and three aces, Peyton Suco had three kills and two blocks, and Anna Marie Woodfin had 15 digs.

Oxford had the toughest time among the county’s winners. The Jackets were pushed to the brink, but pulled it out 25-18, 20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-10.

Winter Taylor and Sara Connell each had 11 kills, while recording seven and 15 digs, respectively. Nyia Archie had seven kills, six blocks and six digs. Laura Davenport had eight kills and 14 digs; Breanna Nolan had four kills, two aces and 26 digs; Karagan Timmons had 28 digs; and Chloe Stone had 42 assists and 25 digs.

Faith Christian, which advanced outside area play for the first time since 2011, put up a fight. The Lady Lions lost a close pivotal second set 29-27.

“I though we played really well today; it was one of our better games,” Faith coach Bradley Dawson said. “I was worried about us being big eyed with this being our first time with this group of girls. We were not intimated or scared. I am really proud of that.

“I thought in the second set we missed a few balls that could have been the difference; just missed them by a few inches. I believe if those fall we win the second set. Anything can happen from there. I thought if we got the second we had all the momentum and day would have turned out differently.”

VonBraun Center, Huntsville

Friday’s Games
(Involving Calhoun County teams)

Decatur Heritago (37-10) def. Faith Christian (24-18), 3-0 (25-18, 29-27, 25-17)
Alexandria (24-16) def. West Point (23-18), 3-0 (25-20, 29-27, 25-18)
Pleasant Valley (35-11) vs. Pisgah, 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 21-8)
Geraldine (33-17) def. Ohatchee (24-13), 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-11)
Donoho (41-8) def. Athens Bible, 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-12)
Plainview def. Wellborn (10-19), 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 28-26)
Jacksonville (27-11) def. Priceville, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-15)
Saks (46-7) def. DAR, 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-18)
Oxford (38-17) def. Austin 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-10)

Saturday’s Matchups
(Winners qualify for state tournament)

Donoho (41-8) vs. Cedar Bluff (16-24), 9 a.m.
Pleasant Valley (35-11) vs. West Morgan, 10:30 a.m.
Alexandria (24-16) vs. Randolph (15-19), 10:30 a.m.
Oxford (38-17) vs. Arab (48-2), noon
Saks (46-7) vs. Carbon Hill (64-6), noon
Jacksonville (27-11) vs. Deshler (27-17), 1:30 p.m.

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