E.A. Sports Today

Regional semifinals

Lady Cubs play for 5A North region title, PV in 3A consy match

By East Alabama Sports Today

HUNTSVILLE — Alexandria will be playing for a 5A North region title and Pleasant Valley will be playing for the highest 3A North seed available later this afternoon after getting through regional semifinals Saturday morning.

Alexandria defeated Arab in four sets 25-23, 26-24, 19-25, 25-23. The Lady Cubs will play Lawrence County, a 3-0 winner over St. John Paul II.

Pleasant Valley played an equally tight match, but lost to Lexington in five, 25-23, 21-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-13. The Lady Raiders will play Geraldine, a 3-0 loser to 60-win Carbon Hill.

UPDATE: Alexandria lost in its final to Lawrence County 3-0 and Pleasant Valley fell in its consolation match to Geraldine 3-1. Both still advance to the Elite 8 in Birmingham starting Wednesday.

The Lady Cubs has a chance to win their match in three sets as they held an early 10-2 lead, but Arab made hay when Taylor Spradley was out of the rotation and roared back with a 16-3 run.

The Cubs rallied from a 19-16 deficit in the fourth set to take a 24-21 lead and closed it out moments later.

“We should have put them away when we were up eight, but this was awesome for us; a huge win for us,” Alexandria coach Whitney Welch said. “Even when we dropped that set it could have buried us if we didn’t watch out. I was proud of the way they competed and came back in Game 4. We’ve been talking about finishing all year.”

“I was real proud of the way the team fought back,” Spradley said. “I think we wanted it more than they did.”

PV rallies from dropping the first set to take a 2-1 lead and led 14-10 in the fourth set. But Lexington erupted with a 13-3 run to take control. The Lady Raiders got it back to 24-23, but couldn’t survive set point.

The tiebreaker was tight throughout. Lexington tied it at 12 on a point the Lady Raiders thought was tipped out and took the lead for good after a long and spirited rally.

Alexandria will play in the Elite 8 in Birmingham at 9:30 am Wednesday if it beats Lawrence County, 12:30 if it loses.

PV will play at 8 am as the North 3 if it beats Geraldine, 11 am if it loses.

The Lady Raiders are making their first trip to the Elite 8 since 2011. Alexandria was last year’s 5A runnerup.

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