E.A. Sports Today

PV draws top seed

Lady Raiders draw No. 1 seed in Calhoun County Volleyball Tournament with little debate; Alexandria 2, Jacksonville 3

[yop_poll id=”10″]

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Pleasant Valley pulled down the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Calhoun County Volleyball Tournament for the second year in a row, emerging from the county’s recognized top three teams with little debate.

Alexandria (12-3) drew the No. 2 seed, Jacksonville (9-1) was No. 3 and Oxford (7-14) No. 4. All four top seeds draw byes into the third round of the Oct. 7 tournament at Jacksonville High School. The championship match is 7:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at Jacksonville State.

Pleasant Valley, the winningest team in the county (21-2) this season and 11-1 against in-county competition, lost to Jacksonville in five games in its season opener, but beat Alexandria 3-0 Monday afternoon. Alexandria beat Jacksonville 3-0 earlier in the season and Jacksonville beat Oxford 2-1 Monday night.

“I think everyone is seeded fairly,” PV coach Dana Bryant said. “It went very smoothly.”

As teams have found many times in the past, being the top seed in this tournament doesn’t guarantee a golden road to the championship. PV was top seed last year and No. 3 Jacksonville won the title. Oxford was the top seed in 2014 and No. 2 Jacksonville won the tournament. The last No. 1 seed to win it was Oxford in 2015.

“In volleyball, there are a lot of factors involved,” Bryant said. “No. 1 doesn’t mean you’re going to win. You’ve got to play your best, you’ve got to play intense the entire time, you’ve got to be able to take control of the court and stay in charge. Sometimes the No. 1 seed does that, sometimes they don’t.”

“It’s a great tournament, always has been,” Saks coach Randy Law said. “If you can be competitive in Calhoun County you can compete with a lot of teams in the state because it’s a high level of volleyball.”

The PV pick for No. 1 matched the fan voting in an East Alabama Sports Today poll that concluded about an hour before the seeding meeting Wednesday afternoon. More than 50 percent of the respondents tabbed the Lady Raiders as the projected top seed.

The other seeds were Saks, Faith Christian, Wellborn, Weaver, Sacred Heart, Piedmont, Donoho, White Plains, Ohatchee, JCA and Anniston.

There really wasn’t much discussion in the open forum format for nominating seeds that lasted about 30 minutes. The only real debates were for 4/5 and 10/11. Oxford won a show-of-hands mandate over Saks for the 4 seed. Piedmont won an 8-7 vote over Donoho for No. 10.

“Wendy’s always does a great job and they’ve got a winning tradition,” said Law, who thought his team would land somewhere in the middle of the pack. “I know their record is not that good, but they play all those big schools over in Birmingham and all; I know they have a good team. I would love to be the fourth seed, simply because you play one less game, but now we have to play a game (the Ohatchee-White Plains winner) to get to Oxford.”

It was thought there would be some debate over Saks and Faith Christian at 5/6 but that didn’t materialize. Faith (14-3) had one fewer overall victory than Saks (15-5), but is 10-2 in-county, including a win over the Lady Wildcats in the Saks Invitational. Both teams have lost twice to PV.

“That would be favorable for us, but you can’t argue Saks,” said Faith coach Justin Kisor, participating in his first Calhoun County tournament seed meeting. “We played them the third game of the year, three sets, 15-13 (in the third). I’m not going to argue that. After that, it was us; that was my argument. I understand head-to-head matters, but, honestly, you can’t argue with Saks.”

Oct. 7, Jacksonville HS (preliminary rounds)

(records as of Wednesday: overall, county)

First-round games
No. 13 Ohatchee (4-11, 1-6) vs. No. 12 White Plains (3-8, 1-6), 9 a.m.
No. 14 JCA (0-1, 0-1) vs. No. 11 Donoho (2-11, 2-6), 9 a.m.
No. 10 Piedmont (7-11, 1-6) vs. No. 15 Anniston (0-0, 0-0), 9 a.m.

Second-round games
No. 8 Weaver (14-5, 2-5) vs. No. 9 Sacred Heart (10-6, 3-4), 10:30 a.m.
No. 5 Saks (15-5, 3-3) vs. Ohatchee-White Plains winner, 10:30 a.m.
No. 6 Faith Christian (14-3, 10-2) vs. JCA-Donoho winner, 10:30 a.m.
No. 7 Wellborn (5-4, 4-3) vs. Piedmont-Anniston winner, noon

No. 1 Pleasant Valley (21-2, 11-1) vs. Weaver-Sacred Heart winner, noon
No. 4 Oxford (7-14, 2-1) vs. Saks/Ohatchee/White Plains, noon
No. 3 Jacksonville (9-1, 4-1) vs. Faith/JCA/Donoho, 1:30 p.m.
No. 2 Alexandria (12-3, 1-1) vs. Wellborn/Piedmont/Anniston, 1:30 p.m.

Semifinals, 3 p.m.

Championship game
Oct. 9
At Jacksonville State, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 28-30, Oxford HS

(records as of Wednesday, overall, county)

Sept. 28 matches
No. 8 Weaver (8-10, NA) vs. No. 9 Wellborn (4-9, 4-7), 4 p.m.
No. 5 Ohatchee (11-4, 9-2) vs. No. 12 Piedmont (2-2, 1-1), 5:15 p.m.
No. 4 Alexandria (10-7, 8-6) vs. No. 13 JCA (1-0, 0-0), 5:15 p.m.
No. 3 Donoho (10-3, 10-2) vs. No. 14 Faith Christian (1-6, 1-6), 4 p.m.
No. 6 Jacksonville (12-5, 10-4) vs. No. 11 Sacred Heart (2-15, 2-10), 5:15 p.m.
No. 7 Oxford (7-15, 5-12) vs. No. 10 White Plains (5-16, 5-14), 4 p.m.
No. 1 Pleasant Valley (15-5, 13-4) vs. Weaver-Wellborn winner, 6:30 p.m.
No. 2 Saks (13-2, 12-1) vs. Oxford-White Plains winner, 6:30 p.m.

Tournament continues, concludes Sept. 30

You must be logged in to post a comment Login