E.A. Sports Today

Showing Mercy

Sophomore Mangum gives MVP-worthy performance as Donoho rebounds from early loss to win its tournament

Donoho volleyball coach Jamie Clendenin talks about closing the match during a late timeout in Saturday’s championship match. On the cover, the Lady Falcons celebrate after following their coach’s advice.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Jamie Clendenin knew when his Donoho volleyball team lost a match early in the day it was going to be a tall task for it to just get out of pool play in the Donoho Classic let alone win its own tournament.


For the Lady Falcons to endure they would have to survive a gauntlet of some of the best Class 1A teams in the state without much rest. But in a testament to their drive and determination, they dug deep, won six straight matches in oppressively hot conditions and held off Westminster-Oak Mountain 25-21, 25-23 to win the Classic for the first time in at least six years.
“We had to win four straight matches just to make it out of pool (play); that’s not an easy road,” Clendenin said. “We didn’t play well and we’ve had tournaments before where we didn’t play well early on and it normally never ends up well for us. It was really good to see them figure it out quick.”
The Lady Falcons breezed through their first match, a straight set win over Victory Christian, then were sent out on their road to redemption after losing in straight sets to Spring Garden.
Before calling it a night they beat Westminster – a result that ultimately gave them the No. 1 seed in bracket play – followed by area rival Faith Christian, Holy Spirit, Meek (to clinch a playoff spot), 4A White Plains in the semifinals and Westminster in the finals.
The Meek match was the key. A loss would have created a crazy three-way tiebreaker that would have knocked the Lady Falcons out and elevated Westminster to the No. 1 seed from the pool.
They were in danger of losing their momentum when the Lady Tigers pulled away in a second set with seven of the last nine points after Donoho rallied to make it tight. Instead, they pulled away in the third by scoring six of the last seven points.
“In the Meek match we just didn’t play well, but they got the job done when it mattered,” Clendenin said. “That’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
They didn’t hand out an MVP award for the tournament, but if they had, Clendenin’s money would squarely be on Mercy Mangum. The sophomore was a force in the championship match, knocking down 13 kills in mostly critical situations.
Among her biggest hits, Mangum put away a cross-court winner to clinch the first set and she put away the championship clinching point in the second set from the left side of the net. She finished the tournament with 41 kills, second on the team to only Lily Grace Draper (45).
“She played lights out, the best she’s ever played,” Clendenin said. “I pulled her aside after that match and said if I were naming an MVP right now it would definitely be you, because she was hitting like she’d never hit before. 
“And this is Match Eight. The girl’s jumping up and she’s not tall but, man, she was putting the ball away. She didn’t get rattled. She’d hit one or two in the net and then she went right back out firing. It wasn’t like let me be scared, let me tip the ball. It was I’m going to make sure we take this game.”
Mangum credited her upbringing for helping her persevere through what became a challenging day.
“I was raised in a military home so I’m used to going all day long and going hard,” she said. “I love giving it my all because I know my teammates are giving it all. We all have our part to do and if I can play the best I can that’s what I’ll have to give.”
Neither team led by more than four points in either championship set. The first set was tied at 21 when Donoho pulled away. The end game began when the Knights couldn’t return a volley by Draper. Maggie Wakefield blocked consecutive points at the net to set up set point and Mangum closed it out with her cross-court winner.
The second set was equally intense. The Lady Falcons led 21-17, but Westminster battled back to make it a one-point game. Dohono went up 24-21 on another Mangum kill, but Westminster brought it back to 24-23 before Mangum settled it for good.
“When we lost to Spring Garden we thought that was our loss for the day, put it in the past, get over it,” Mangum said. “We’ve got other games to play, more opportunities to prove that we’re ready to go. We really just try to have fun and be the loudest and most energetic that we can and just give our all.”

Donoho def. Westminster-Oak Mountain, 25-21, 25-23
Semifinals: Donoho def. White Plains, 25-16, 25-14; Westminster-Oak Mountain def. Weaver, 25-21, 25-16
Lower Gym Pool: Weaver 5-0, White Plains 4-1, Appalachian 3-2, Wellborn 1-4, Cleburne County 1-4, Piedmont 1-4.
Match scores
Wellborn def. Cleburne County 25-16, 22-25, 15-9
Weaver def. Wellborn, 25-22, 25-22
Weaver def. Cleburne County, 23-25, 25-23, 15-9
Cleburne County def. Piedmont, 25-20, 25-22
Weaver def. Piedmont, 25-20, 22-25, 15-8
Weaver def. Appalachian, 25-15, 25-17
Appalachian def. Cleburne County, 25-23, 20-25, 15-13
Appalachian def. Piedmont, 25-14, 25-14
White Plains def. Piedmont, 25-16, 25-21
White Plains def. Appalachian, 18-25, 25-14, 15-13
Appalachian def. Wellborn, 25-19, 25-14
White Plains def. Wellborn, 25-23, 25-12
White Plains def. Cleburne County, 17-25, 25-15, 18-16
Piedmont def. Wellborn, 25-21, 25-20
Weaver def. White Plains, 25-13, 25-17
Upper Gym Pool: Donoho 5-1, Westminster-Oak Mountain 5-1, Faith Christian 4-2, Meek 3-3, Spring Garden 3-3, Holy Spirit 2-5, Victory Christian 0-6
 Match scores
Westminster-OM def. Faith Christian, 19-25, 27-25, 15-13
Spring Garden def. Holy Spirit, 25-14, 25-16
Faith Christian def. Holy Spirit, 11-25, 25-13, 15-9
Faith Christian def. Victory Christian, 25-8, 25-6
Meek def. Holy Spirit, 25-12, 25-20
Donoho def. Faith Christian, 25-10, 25-16
Meek def. Spring Garden, 25-22, 25-22
Faith Christian def. Meek 26-24, 25-15
Spring Garden def. Victory Christian, 25-14, 25-11
Faith Christian def. Spring Garden, 25-20, 26-24
Meek def. Victory Christian, 25-8, 25-12
Donoho def. Victory Christian, 25-6, 25-10
Westminster-OM def. Meek, 23-25, 25-15, 15-10
Spring Garden def. Donoho, 25-16, 25-18
Donoho def. Westminster-OM, 25-21, 25-18
Westminster-OM def. Spring Garden, 25-19, 25-22
Holy Spirit def. Victory Christian, 25-10, 25-22
Westminster-OM def. Victory Christian, 25-10, 25-11
Donoho def. Holy Spirit, 25-10, 25-11
Westminster-OM def. Holy Spirit, 25-18, 25-11
Donoho def. Meek, 25-19, 20-25, 15-9

Here are Donoho’s statistical leaders for the tournament:
KILLS: Lily Grace Draper 45, Mary Marshall Perry 33, Mercy Mangum 41, Maggie Wakefield 36, Yana Osovska 10, Estella Connell 4, Maggie Miller 6, Mya Keel 3, Naira Rahman 1.
ASSISTS: Mary Marshall Perry 2, Mercy Mangum 1, Maggie Wakefield 7, Yana Osovska 1, Maggie Miller 102, Mya Keel 4, Ayesha Siddiqua 3, Sarah Waggoner 1, Kate Porteous 1.
ACES: Lily Grace Draper 13, Mary Marshall Perry 7, Mercy Mangum 3, Maggie Miller 14, Mya Keel 9, Ayesha Siddiqua 15, Naira Rahman 1.
DIGS: Lily Grace Draper 8, Mary Marshall Perry 1, Mercy Mangum 3, Maggie Miller 5, Mya Keel 23, Ayesha Siddiqua 10, Naira Rahman 15, Sarah Waggoner 12.
BLOCKS: Mary Marshall Perry 4, Maggie Wakefield 15, Estella Connell 2.
Here are Faith Christian’s statistical leaders for the tournament:
KILLS: Sydnee Johnson 43, Sarah Jessica Christjohn 28, Jordan Campbell 6.
ASSISTS: Lily Becke 68, Anna Kerri Davis 18.
ACES: Sydnee Johnson 6, Sarah Jessica Christjohn 4, Devan White 5, Lily Becke 5, Jordan Campbell 8.
DIGS: Sydnee Johnson 19, Devan White 52, Lily Becke 11, Jordan Campbell 17.
BLOCKS: Sydnee Johnson 10, Sarah Jessica Christjohn 21.

Hartselle Tournament

HARTSELLE – Alexandria went 5-2, finishing second in its pool and getting knocked out by Madison Academy in the semifinals.
The Lady Cubs swept Mortimer Jordan (25-17, 25-9), West Point (25-23, 25-23) and Plainview (25-17, 25-19), fell to host Hartselle (25-10, 25-22) and lost to Madison Academy after winning the first set (20-25, 25-21, 15-11).
Here are Alexandria’s statistical leaders for the tournament:
KILLS: Jordan Beason 26, Madison Wallace 23, Lexi Weber 20, Kandyn Blankenship 11, Kylie Jordan 8.
ASSISTS: Anna Johnson 77.
DIGS: Jordan Beason 30, Anna Johnson 31, Sarah Pelham 40, Ashley Parker 15.
BLOCKS: Lexi Weber 16.
“It was a long drive and a long day, but it will make us better in the end,” coach Whitney Welch said.

Husky Challenge

TRUSSVILLE – Rylee Haynes and Leah Patterson stood out for Pleasant Valley as the Lady Raiders finished second in the Silver Division of the Hewitt-Trussville Husky Challenge, lost to Pell City in the division championship 19-25, 25-23, 17-15).
Haynes had 101 assists and nine aces, while Patterson had 29 kills, 10 aces, 23 digs and six blocks.
The Lady Raiders (12-13) swept Gardendale, Woodland and Springville and lost to Brewer, Homewood and Pell City.
Oxford went 3-2 in the tournament, falling in the quarterfinals to Brewer.
The Lady Jackets (13-8) defeated Westbrook Christian (25-9, 25-14), Hillcrest (25-13, 25-16) and Springville (25-18, 23-25, 15-12) and fell to Southside (25-19, 26-24) and Brewer (25-23, 25-14).
Here are Oxford’s statistical leaders for the tournament:
KILLS: Lakijah Brown 29, Kiertsen Woods 14, Shania Vincent 15, Lisa Montgomery 14, Aumaria Lindsey 25.
ASSISTS: Cadie Burn 82.
DIGS: Brittany Davis 27, Arianna Curry 14, Lakijah Brown 8, Shania Vincent 17, Cadie Burn 18.
Here are Pleasant Valley’s statistical leaders for the tournament:
KILLS: Leah Patterson 29, Mattie Glass 15, Karmyn Sparks 43, Gravie Davis 7, Madison Borders 23, Allie Bryant 2, Rylee Haynes 4, Taylor Nix 1, Maci Meadows 3.
ASSISTS: Mattie Glass 1, Gracie Davis 1, Allie Bryant 1, Rylee Haynes 101.
ACES: Leah Patterson 10, Mattie Glass 6, Madison Borders 4, Allie Bryant 5, Rylee Haynes 9, Taylor Nix 6.
DIGS: Leah Patterson 23, Mattie Glass 49, Karmyn Sparks 7, Gracie Davis 2, Madison Borders 18, Allie Bryant 43, Rylee Haynes 17, Taylor Nix 15.
BLOCKS: Leah Patterson 6, Mattie Glass 1, Karmyn Sparks 10, Gracie Davis 1, Madison Borders 1, Rylee Haynes 2, Maci Meadows 1.

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