E.A. Sports Today

3 to Elite Eight

Calhoun County has 3 teams (so far) heading to volleyball Elite Eight in Birmingham — Donoho, Alexandria, Jacksonville; 2 more have shot Friday

By East Alabama Sports Today
HUNTSVILLE – Calhoun County will send at least three teams to the volleyball Elite Eight in Birmingham next week after Donoho, Jacksonville and Alexandria all won two matches in their respective North Super Regionals at the VonBraun Center Thursday.
Donoho defeated Oakwood 3-0 and won a tight five-setter over Meek in Class 1A. Jacksonville swept Elkmont and West Morgan 3-0 in Class 4A. Alexandria swept Crossville and Brewer 3-0 in Class 5A.
Alexandria may have scored a pair of sweeps, but they were in five tight sets. The Lady Cubs beat Crossville 25-21, 27-25, 25-23, then beat Brewer 25-16, 25-20, 25-21.
“I just wanted them to get there,” Alexandria coach Whitney Welch said. “If you can get there you never know what can happen.
“I am very proud of these girls mostly because of how they have worked through adversity. We have struggled some over the last two weeks. That’s why you never give up and keep fighting. I knew if they would keep working and keep doing the right things then we could start turning things back around. They showed that today in these two matches.”
Jordan Beason had 17 kills in both matches, Madison Wallace had nine in both and Kandyn Blankenship had eight in both. Against Brewer, Lexi Weber had five kills, three blocks and four aces; and Anna Johnson had 33 assists. Against Crossville, Beason had 15 digs, Johnson had 36 assists and Sarah Pelham had 20 digs.
Donoho swept Oakwood 25-11, 25-3, 25-13, then were in a fight for their season against Meek. They won the first two sets 25-21, 25-14 and looked to be headed to a sweep with a 17-10 lead in the third, but lost that set 25-23 and the next 25-21 before getting back on track and winning the tiebreaker 15-9.
“Man, we almost gave that one up,” Donoho coach Jamie Clendenin said. “My senior libero (Mya Keel) said guys we are giving it away. We found a way to take care of business when it mattered most. We will grow from this one and only get better. Glad to say we are moving on.”
Keel wasn’t the only Lady Falcon to provide some inspiring words to their teammates.
“(Setter) Maggie Miller pulled them into the huddle and said if we walk on to this court with the look of defense we will be going home,” Clenendin said. “So, go out there positive and ready to win.”
Jacksonville beat Elkmont 25-14, 25-9, 25-17 and followed it with a sweep of West Morgan 25-22, 25-18, 25-21.
The county sent seven teams into action Thursday.
Pleasant Valley was eliminated in the second round in 3A North by Lexington 25-22, 25-20, 25-23 after beating New Hope in the opening round 25-18, 16-25, 25-19, 25-15. Leah Patterson had 13 kills and 10 digs in the New Hope match. Karmyn Sparks had 11 kills and three blocks and Mattie Glass had nine kills, four aces and 16 digs.
Sacred Heart lost to Lindsay Lane 25-17, 25-21, 17-25, 25-12 in their opening round 1A North match. Saks and Wellborn lost their opening matches in 3A South; Saks lost to St. Michael Catholic 25-9, 25-13, 25-7, and Wellborn lost to St. Luke’s Episcopal 25-4, 25-12, 25-9.
Two more teams get their chance to advance Friday – 2A Ohatchee and 6A Oxford. Ohatchee will go into their match with Sand Rock without their only senior. Bailey Carden sustained some serious injuries in a one-car accident a few hours after the Lady Indians won their area tournament Tuesday night and will not be available to play. Carden made the all-tournament team with three kills, 10 digs and an ace in the championship match.
“It was a pretty tough loss for us going into tomorrow,” Ohatchee coach Rebecca Hughes said.

Donoho 3, Oakwood 0 (25-11, 25-3, 25-13)
Lindsay Lane 3, Sacred Heart 1 (25-17, 25-21, 17-25, 25-12)
Donoho 3, Meek 2 (25-21, 25-14, 23-25, 21-25, 15-9)
Spring Garden 3, Donoho 1 (19-25, 25-18, 25-14, 25-21)
Donoho vs. Phillips, 5 p.m.

St. Michael Catholic 3, Saks 0 (25-9, 25-13, 25-7)
St. Luke’s Episcopal 3, Wellborn 0 (25-4, 25-12, 25-9)
Pleasant Valley 3, New Hope 1 (25-18, 16-25, 25-19, 25-15)
Lexington 3, Pleasant Valley 0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-23)

Jacksonville 3, Elkmont 0 (25-14, 25-9, 25-17)
Jacksonville 3, West Morgan 0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-21)
Jacksonville 3, Fairview 1 (25-17, 26-24, 21-25, 25-20)
Jacksonville vs. Brooks-Central Florence winner, 6:30 p.m.
Alexandria 3, Crossville 0 (25-21, 27-25, 25-23)
Alexandria 3, Brewer 0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-21)
Lawrence County 3, Alexandria 2 (25-18, 19-25, 25-19, 25-27, 15-13)
Alexandria vs. Guntersville, 5 p.m.

Sand Rock 3, Ohatchee 2 (25-10, 27-29, 25-13, 25-27, 15-7)
Oxford 3, Clay-Chalkville 0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-19)
Oxford vs. Athens, 3:30 p.m.

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