E.A. Sports Today

Life after death

Faith Christian comes out of the ‘Group of Death’ to win third-place bracket in Donoho Classic

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

If the Donoho Classic were a soccer tournament instead of volleyball, the pool Faith Christian drew for the event would be called “Grupo de la muerte,” the group of death.

The Lady Lions came out of what undisputedly was the toughest pool in the tournament to become the only Calhoun County volleyball team in the field to win a bracket.

Faith won the Bronze bracket Saturday, defeating Piedmont in straight sets (25-19, 25-18) for third place. To get there, they lost to No. 9 1A Athens Bible, beat No. 3 1A Isabella and lost to No. 7 3A Pleasant Valley in pool play, then beat unranked White Plains in three games in the Bronze semifinals.

Addison, the top-ranked team in 1A, beat Ider in two games for the championship.

Pleasant Valley (gold), Sacred Heart (silver), Ohatchee (chrome), Donoho (silver) and, of course, White Plains all lost in their bracket semifinals.

“Our girls are all heart, they’re all fight,” Faith coach Justin Kisor said. “Once we got beat by Pleasant Valley and knocked us out of the Silver Bracket I told them our goal was to win this bracket and they came out and they played.”

The Lady Lions (11-4) beat Athens Bible 25-21, 25-20, then lost to Isabella and Pleasant Valley in two games. They beat White Plains 17-25, 25-12, 15-13.

“It was great for us,” Kisor said. “We played three top 10 teams in 1A and 3A. They were good measuring-stick games for us, all of them. I would rather have our pool with quality competition than a pool that is not going to challenge us. We knew we were going to come in here having to play our ‘A’ game. We really had to dig deep to figure out what kind of team we were. We were not disappointed with what we did.”

Here are the Lady Lions’ statistics for the tournament –

Erin Cheek: 59 assists, 10 digs.
Nicole Frechette: 28 kills, 11 aces, 12 digs.
Zana Christjohn: 21 kills, 5 aces.
Sydnee Johnson: 7 kills, 10 blocks.
Montana Huie: 6 kills, 5 blocks.
Abby Kazanjian: 8 aces, 37 digs.
Sarah Kate McVeigh: 4 aces, 10 digs.
Emily Sills: 2 kills, 4 aces, 12 digs.

PLEASANT VALLEY: The Lady Raiders swept through the 1A teams in the Group of Death and dominated Addison in the first game of their Gold Bracket semifinal 25-8, but dropped the next two games 25-21 and 15-6.

In pool play they defeated Isabella 25-22, 25-14; Athens Bible 25-16, 25-18; and Faith Christian.

Here are the Lady Raiders’ statistics for the tournament –

Mikayla Kendrick: 19 kills, 11 digs, 4 blocks, 7 aces.
Blakely Masly: 12 kills, 17 digs, 5 blocks, 2 aces.
Savannah Williams: 13 kills, 34 assists, 14 digs, 4 aces.
Anna Bryant: 14 kills, 41 assists, 22 digs, 2 blocks, 6 aces.
Riley Haynes: 5 kills, 1 assist, 4 digs, 1 block.
Kamryn Sparks: 1 kill, 1 dig, 2 blocks.
Madison Bentley: 24 digs, 5 aces.
Maggie Hedgepath: 2 digs.
Cailyn Steele: 4 digs, 1 ace.
Alisa St. John: 13 kills, 15 digs, 5 blocks, 7 aces.

SACRED HEART: The Lady Cardinals went 2-2, bowing to Athens Bible 25-23, 25-16 in the semifinals of the Silver Bracket. In pool play they defeated White Plains (16-25, 25-23, 15-7) and Holy Spirit (25-14, 25-14) before losing to Addison 25-12, 25-13.

Here are the Lady Cardinals’ statistics for the tournament –

Jumoke Sanusi: 16 kills, 36 digs, 1 block, 2 aces.
Jacque Beyerle: 4 kills, 25digs, 3 aces.
Ayanna Foster: 15 kills, 4 blocks.
Sophia Allen: 24 assists, 16 digs, 4 aces.
Mary Kate Middlebrook: 5 kills, 5 blocks.
Angel Nguyen: 5 kills, 32 digs, 4 blocks.
Deborah Greene: 7 kills, 34 digs, 2 blocks, 4 aces.

The Lady Cardinals are 9-6 and host JCA in an area match Tuesday prior to Wednesday’s County Tournament seeding meeting.

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