E.A. Sports Today

Oxford stakes claim for top seed

Lady Jackets’ undefeated record against county competition should be tipping point in Wednesday’s tournament seeding meeting

Tuesday’s matches
Alexandria 2, Jacksonville 0 (25-11, 25-14)
Alexandria 2, Piedmont 0 (25-15, 25-17)
Glencoe 2, Spring Garden 1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-7)
Donoho 3, Wellborn 1 (17-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-12)
Faith Christian 2, White Plains 0 (25-13, 25-10)
Faith Christian 2, Saks 0 (25-11, 25-13)
Lincoln 3, Cleburne County 1 22-25, 25-16, 25-13, 25-10)
Oxford 3, Pleasant Valley 0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-22)
Weaver 3, Glencoe 1 (35-33, 25-16, 14-25, 25-22)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – If conventional wisdom holds Wednesday, Oxford should be the No. 1 seed when the coaches meet to seed the Calhoun County Volleyball Tournament in Piedmont.

The Lady Jackets remained undefeated against in-county competition after taking down Pleasant Valley 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-22) Tuesday night.

They may be only 13-10 overall against a heavy schedule, but 7-0 against county teams with four wins over the other traditional powers in the county – two over PV and one each over projected No. 2 seed Alexandria and Jacksonville.

“I don’t know (how it’s going to go); it’s how they vote tomorrow,” Oxford coach Wendy McKibbin said. “We haven’t lost a county game so I think we should be the forerunner, I do.”

“I think we should be No. 1,” setter Emma Connell said. “We have so much potential on this team and if we all play to our maximum ability and give effort on every play – our total body sacrifice, we call it TBS – if we do that, I think we can beat anybody.”

The big issue with the Lady Jackets this season has been consistency, with their success hinging on which team shows up for the match. They took the first set from the Lady Raiders handily, then had to come from behind in each of the last two sets to win it.

They were down 12-8 at one point in the second set, but went on a 9-1 run to pull ahead and held on. They were down as late as 22-20 in the third set, then won the last five points to clinch the match.

McKibbin was impressed that her team didn’t get down when it fell behind. A couple well-placed time outs helped.

“We told them just to have fun,” she said. “We gave them a few points, we had to minimize our mistakes and let them make the mistakes on their side … The game of volleyball is a game of momentum so the team that makes the fewest mistakes and scores at the right time, you get all that momentum, a lot can change.”

The Lady Jackets had a balanced attack. Tanyia McDonald had eight kills and 14 digs. Lakijah Brown had eight kills, Aumaria Lindsey seven and Shania Vincent six. Connell had 24 assists and nine digs.

“This year we’ve got some new kids who have not played varsity before who have stepped up and done a good job,” McKibbin said.

While Oxford and defending state champion Alexandria are likely to grab the top two spots, the rest of the tournament seeds could be interesting. Faith Christian (18-4) has a case for perhaps a No. 3, going 7-1 in the county; true, the only loss came to Pleasant Valley, but the Lady Lions also have a split with a No. 1 team in the state (Athens Bible).

“It’s up for grabs,” McKibbin said. “But like I said before it all matters who shows up on Oct. 6.”

Alexandria extended its in-county record to 7-1 with a pair of sweeps over Jacksonville (25-11, 25-14) and Piedmont (25-15, 25-17).

Kendal Bumpus had six kills, Mattie Wade dropped in four aces and Kayleigh Steen and Anna Johnson combined for 16 assists in the Jacksonville match. Bumpus had six kills and Johnson had 10 assists and three aces against Piedmont.

Donoho bounced back from dropping the first set to dump Wellborn 3-1 (17-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-12). Lily Grace Draper had 16 kills, Mary Marshall Perry had 15 kills and Maggie Miller had 29 assists and seven aces for the Lady Falcons.

After winning a wild 35-33 first set, Weaver went on to beat Glencoe 3-1 (35-33, 25-16, 14-25, 25-22). Abigail Gaines had 16 kills in the match, McKenna Flynn had nine kills and Amira Carter had 18 assists.

“The first … was an intense game; both teams showed a lot of fight,” Lady Bearcats coach Casey Maples said. “I was very proud of our girls for finishing.”

(25-13, 25-23, 25-22)
KILLS – Oxford: Tanyia McDonald 8, Lakijah Brown 8, Shania Vincent 6, Emma Connell 3, Aumaria Lindsey 7; PV: Savannah Williams 10, Blakely Malsy 8, Karmyn Sparks 3, Leah Patterson 2, Rylee Hayne 1.
ASSISTS – Oxford: Tanyia McDonald 2, Shania Vincent 2, Emma Connell 24; PV: Rylee Hayne 16.
ACES – Oxford: Alanah Zimmerman 1; PV: Savannah Williams 1, Leah Patterson 1, Allie Bryant 3.
DIGS – Oxford: Deinnah Issac 2, Alanah Zimmerman 1, Tanyia McDonald 14, Lakijah Brown 1, Shania Vincent 2, Emma Connell 9, Brittany Davis 3, Aametria Wilson 4, Aumaria Lindsey 1; PV: Savannah Williams 20, Bkalely Malsy 7, Karmyn Sparks 3, Leah Patterson 2, Rylee Hayne 6, Maggie Hedgepath 20, Allie Bryant 6.
BLOCKS – Oxford: Lakijah Brown 1, Kiki Woods 1, Shania Vincent 1; PV: Savannah Williams 2, Blakely Malsy 2, Karmyn Sparks 2, Leah Patterson 4, Mattie Glass 1, Rylee Hayne 2.


(Alexandria combined statistics)
KILLS – Kendal Bumpus 12, Mattie Wade 3, Kayleigh Steen 2, Lanie Dreyer 2, Madison Wallace 6, Madison Chastain 5, Kameron Simpson 1, Maysen Schur 3, Kyleigh Rhodes 2, Jordan Beason 5.
ASSISTS – Kayleigh Steen 12, Kinsley Gregoria 3, Anna Johnson 17.
ACES – Mattie Wade 4, Kayleigh Steen 2, Kaitlin Harvey 2, Kinsley Gregoria 1, Anna Johnson 3, Kyleigh Rhodes 1, Ashley Parker 3, Jordan Beason 1.
DIGS – Kendal Bumpus 4, Mattie Wade 5, Kayleigh Steen 1, Kinsley Gregoria 2, Lanie Dreyer 1, Madison Wallace 3, Madison Chastain 2, Anna Johnson 8, Kameron Simpson 1, Kyleigh Rhodes 1, Jordan Beason 1.
BLOCKS – Madison Chastain 1, Madison Wallace 1.

(17-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-12)
(Donoho statistics)

KILLS – Mya Keel 1, Leyden Orth 4, Lily Grace Draper 16, Maggie Wakefield 2, Mercy Mangum 5, Mary Marshall Perry 15.
ASSISTS – Kaitlin Kim 1, Maggie Miller 29, Leyden Orth 3, Jenna Stremmel 1, Maggie Wakefield 1.
ACES – Kaitlin Kim 1, Maggie Miller 7, Leyden Orth 4, Jenna Stremmel 1, Kate Porteous 2, Maggie Wakefield 2.
DIGS – Mya Keel 2, Kaitlin Kim 3, Maggie Miller 3, Victoria Tutor 1, Jenna Stremmel 16, Kate Porteous 1, Lily Grace Draper 1, Maggie Wakefield 4.
BLOCKS – Leyden Orth 1, Mary Marshall Perry 2.

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