E.A. Sports Today

Sizing up the competition

Alexandria splits with Ramsay, Faith Christian; Donoho clinches second seed in area with win over JCA; PV beats Glencoe, Sacred Heart

Thursday’s matches
Alexandria 2, Faith Christian 0 (25-16, 25-12)
Donoho 3, Jacksonville Christian 0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-14)
Pleasant Valley 3, Glencoe 2 (23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 23-25, 15-11)
Pleasant Valley 2, Sacred Heart 0 (25-14, 25-16)
Ramsay 2, Alexandria 0 (25-22, 25-22)
Ramsay 2, Faith Christian 0 (25-9, 25-9)
Westbrook Christian 3, Ohatchee 1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 25-13)

Saturday’s matches
Calhoun County Tournament, Alexandria
First-round games
No. 13 Ohatchee vs. No. 12 Piedmont, 9 a.m. (C1)
No. 14 JCA vs. No. 11 White Plains, 9 a.m. (C2)
No. 10 Jacksonville vs. No. 15 Anniston, 9 a.m. (C3)
Second-round games
No. 8 Saks vs. No. 9 Weaver, 10:30 a.m. (C1)
No. 5 Donoho vs. Ohatchee-Piedmont winner, 10:30 a.m. (C2)
No. 6 Sacred Heart vs. JCA-White Plains winner, 10:30 a.m. (C3)
No. 7 Wellborn vs. Jacksonville-Anniston winner, noon (C1)
No. 1 Oxford vs. Saks-Weaver winner, noon (C2)
No. 4 Faith Christian vs. Donoho/Ohatchee/Piedmont, noon (C3)
No. 3 Pleasant Valley vs. Sacred Heart/JCA/White Plains, 1:30 p.m. (C1)
No. 2 Alexandria vs. Wellborn/Jacksonville/Anniston, 1:30 p.m. (C2)
Court 1, 3 p.m.
Court 2, 3 p.m.
Championship match, Monday, 6 p.m., at Alexandria

By East Alabama Sports Today

The Class 5A state volleyball tournament has the potential to be one heck of a dogfight this year and the defending champion Alexandria Lady Cubs got a chance to see part of what they’re up against Thursday night.

The Lady Cubs, who locked up a spot in the North regionals Tuesday night, played well but lost two close sets to 5A power Ramsay 2-0 and then defeated potential county tournament foe Faith Christian 2-0.

“That’s why we brought them in,” Alexandria coach Whitney Welch said of the second-ranked Lady Rams. “I don’t know if you know about 5A this year, but it’s pretty crazy. The people who were in the top 10 or top 12, all of them either went to the Final Four, Elite Eight or played in the finals. There are some 6As who came down and 4As who went up who went to their finals. It’s very stiff.

“We played (Ramsay) three years ago at Briarwood and we edged them out at the end, so we know about them. Tonight they edged us out.”

As the scores indicated, the Lady Cubs (22-11) stayed with Ramsay in both sets before falling 25-22, 25-22. Madison Chastain had eight kills and Kendal Bumpus had five for Alexandria. Anna Johnson was credited with nine assists and Kayleigh Steen had five. Kinsley Gregoria had 18 of the team’s 49 digs in the match.

“We played well, but every time we’d tie or go ahead one we’d make a self-inflicted error,” Welch said. “We stayed it in, but in the end we couldn’t keep the momentum on our side.”

The match was the Lady Cubs’ last tune-up before the Calhoun County Tournament they will host for the first time. Alexandria is the second seed and will be one of the last teams to play its first match, in the 1:30 p.m. quarterfinal against either Wellborn, surging Jacksonville or Anniston.

The Lady Cubs lost to Pleasant Valley in last year’s tournament final. It was a hard-fought five-set match that sticks with Welch to this day. It was their first trip to the county finals since 2011.

“I hope they’re ready, especially after last year,” Welch said. “That was such a great match. We both played so hard; what a wonderful match to be in. That one still hurts me. It’s tough to lose when everybody on the floor wanted it so bad and you fall short. I hope it’s something they want to go back and seek to avenge.”

The Lady Cubs bounced back to beat Faith Christian 25-16, 25-12. The Lady Lions also fell to Ramsay 25-9, 25-9.

“This was sort of a benchmark for us, we could’ve made a statement, and they came out and wiped us off the court,” Faith coach Justin Kisor said. “I wish we were a little more competitive. We didn’t play terrible, we just needed something to go out way.”

The Lady Lions were just getting starting setter Erin Cheek back after missing the previous week with an illness. Even at less than 50 percent she gave her team 12 assists in two matches.

Kisor wasn’t immediately certain if Cheek would be available for the County Tournament, but he was sure if she could be out there she would.

Donoho secures 2 seed

Donoho locked up the No. 2 seed in the Class 1A Area 10 tournament with a 3-0 sweep of Jacksonville Christian, 25-12, 25-10, 25-14.

Eighth-grade outside hitter Lily Grace Draper returned to the Lady Falcons’ lineup after spraining her ankle in practice and provided three kills and two aces in limited action. Mary Marshall Perry, another eighth-grader, led the offense with seven kills. Mercy Mangum had six kills.

“I think the scores indicated we’re using new stuff,” Donoho coach Jamie Clendenin said. “The girls are pretty excited about the new stuff. The future is definitely bright.”

(Alexandria two-match statistics)
KILLS – Kendal Bumpus 15, Mattie Wade 1, Kayleigh Steen 1, Kinsley Gregoria 1, Lanie Dreyer 3, Madison Wallace 2, Madison Chastain 14, Anna Johnson 1, Kameron Simpson 1, Maysen Schur 2, Lexie Weber 1.
ASSISTS – Kayleigh Steen 17, Kinsley Gregoria 1, Anna Johnson 19.
ACES – Kaitlin Harvey 3, Mattie Wade 1, Kinsley Gregoria 1, Madison Wallace 1, Kameron Simpson 1, Ashley Parker 3.
DIGS – Kendal Bumpus 5, Mattie Wade 7, Kayleigh Steen 5, Kaitlin Harvey 8, Kinsley Gregoria 27, Madison Wallace 1, Madison Chastain 1, Anna Johnson 5, Maysen Schur 1, Kyleigh Rhodes 2, Ashley Parker 7, Jordan Beason 5.
BLOCKS – Kendal Bumpus 1, Lanie Dreyer 1, Madison Wallace 2.
RECORD – Alexandria 22-11.

(Faith two-match statistics)
KILLS – Abby Kazanjian 3, Erin Cheek 1, Nicole Frechette 5, Zana Christjohn 4, Sydnee Johnson 3. Emily Sills 1, S.K. McVeigh 1.
ASSISTS – Abby Kazanjian 1, Erin Cheek 12, Sydnee Johnson 1, Emily Sills 1.
ACES – Emily Sills 2.
DIGS – Abby Kazanjian 8, Erin Cheek 1, Nicole Frechette 3, Zana Christjohn 3, Emily Sills 4.
BLOCKS – Erin Cheek 1, Syndee Johnson 2, Emily Sills 1, S.J. Christjohn 2, S.K. McVeigh 1.

KILLS – Mya Keel 5, Maggie Miller 2, Leyden Orth 3, Kate Porteous 1, Lily Grace Draper 3, Maggie Wakefield 2, Mercy Mangum 6, Mary Marshall Perry 7, Jenna Stremmel 1, Yana Osovska 2.
ASSISTS – Maggie Miller 8, Kate Porteous 13, Leyden Orth 1, Jenna Stremmel 1, Ayesha Siddiqua 3.
ACES – Kate Porteous 1, Mya Keel 1, Kaitlyn Kim 5, Jenna Stremmel 2, Lily Grace Draper 3, Mercy Mangum 3.
DIGS – Mya Keel 3, Kaitlyn Kim 3, Jenna Stremmel 8, Maggie Wakefield 2, Mercy Mangum 2, Mary Marshall Perry 1, Sara Waggoner 4.
BLOCKS – Leyden Orth 3, Mary Marshall Perry 1.
RECORD – 28-14.

(PV two-match statistics)
KILLS – Savannah Williams 22, Blakely Malsy 27, Karmyn Sparks 12, Leah Patterson 11, Mattie Glass 1, Rylee Haynes 1.
ASSISTS – Leah Patterson 1, Madison Borders 1, Mattie Glass 1, Rylee Haynes 54.
ACES – Savannah Williams 2, Blakely Malsy 2, Rylee Haynes 1, Allie Bryant 1, Abbi Steele 3.
DIGS – Savannah Williams 31, Blakely Malsy 20, Karmyn Sparks 6, Leah Patterson 7, Madison Borders 1, Mattie Glass 1, Rylee Haynes 11, Allie Bryant 26, Abbi Steele 5.
BLOCKS – Blakely Malsy 2, Karmyn Sparks 11, Leah Patterson 1, Rylee Haynes 2.
RECORD – 29-8.

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