E.A. Sports Today

Been a tough week

Lady Cubs to get some necessary time off after an emotional week capped by a win over Wellborn; Donoho, PV, Cleburne County win

Alexandria’s Lexi Weber (10) and Ashley Wells go up to defend a shot from Wellborn’s Brianna Wyatt (22) in Thursday’s match.

Alexandria 3, Wellborn 0
Cleburne County 3, Munford 0
Coosa Christian 2, Faith Christian 0
Donoho 3, Spring Garden 1
Piedmont 2, Ranburne 0
Pleasant Valley 3, Weaver 0

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

After watching her team defeat Wellborn in straight sets Thursday afternoon, Alexandria volleyball coach Whitney Welch is giving her team the weekend off.

It’s been a tough week on the floor and off and both could use the break to recharge.

The Lady Cubs’ older but inexperienced team has been making progress, but it had just come through an emotional wringer. They played in a demanding tournament at the Supreme Courts and picked up two victories over county rivals made more emotional following the work-related death of a beloved former classmate.

They handled the Lady Panthers 25-13, 25-15, 25-21 with a little difficulty nailing down the clinching point, prompting the coach to give her players a time out.

“This week has been hard for obvious reasons but also before that I’ve been pretty tough on them, just to be honest with you,” Welch said. “We have a ways to go if we want to be the best team that we can be this year and I have pretty much not backed down.

“I have kind of went after them quite a bit. It probably hasn’t been that fun and you want sports to be fun, but we also have a standard that we want to set, so I’m just trying to live in that realm somewhere. With some of our inexperience I’m sure it’s been hard on them and I think we all could use a mental break for a few days.”

The Lady Cubs (10-5) don’t play again until Thursday when they host Chelsea and Lincoln. With the time off, they’re not expected back on the floor until Monday.

“I think it’s good for all of us to have a few days off and regroup ourselves back together,” senior setter Crossley Sparks said. “I hope we take this time to actually focus and get ourselves back together.”

The match was moved up a couple hour to allow the team to attend the visitation of former Alexandria baseball and football player Layton Ellison, one of two Pike Electric workers electrocuted helping a crew restore power in the Birmingham area Tuesday afternoon. The funeral is Friday.

The Lady Cubs had plenty of time to get where they needed to be. They trailed only once in the match – 1-0 in the second set. Wellborn didn’t go down with a fight; the Lady Panthers (5-2) fought off seven match points to make the third set close.

“Our goal is to try to play the next ball better than I played the last one, and win the hustle points,” said Wellborn coach Brenda Vinson.

Lexi Weber led Alexandria with 13 kills and five blocks. Sparks and Christian Hess combined for 18 assists. Hess also had nine digs and four aces. Brianna Wyatt had five kills and two aces for Wellborn.

Thursday was the Lady Cubs’ second match since Ellison’s accident. They defeated Pleasant Valley in four sets Tuesday, shortly after the news broke.

Sparks remembers Ellison always having a good time at the volleyball matches.

“He was always leading the student section,” she said. “Everybody loved Layton. When he walked in the room his smile just lit up the room. It’s been rough (given) how close he was to everybody and how he was so well known.”

(25-13, 25-15, 25-21)
KILLS – Alexandria: Kailey Dickerson 1, Kandyn Blankenship 4, Lexi Weber 13, Crossley Sparks 1, Devan White 1, Ashley Wells 6, Chloe Gattis 3, Madison Foster 1. Wellborn: Anna Odom 4, Brianna Wyatt 5, Calla Hayes 3, Gracie Lewis 1, Heather Downs 2, Kevianna Crumb 3.
ASSISTS – Alexandria: Crossley Sparks 8, Devan White 1, Christian Hess 10, Chloe Gattis 1. Wellborn: Gracie Lewis 30.
ACES – Alexandria: Kaley Dickerson 1, Lexi Weber 3, Devan White 2, Christian Hess 4, Lauren Weber 1. Wellborn: Brianna Wyatt 2, Gracie Lewis 1, Kevianna Crumb 1.
DIGS – Alexandria: Kailey Dickerson 3, Crossley Sparks 1, Devan White 3, Christian Hess 9, Chloe Gattis 6, Lauren Weber 1. Wellborn: Anna Odom 2, Brianna Wyatt 3, Delane Stephens 8, Diana Rodriguez 2, Gracie Lewis 1, Heather Downs 8, Kevianna Crumb 1, Kyra Tirban 4.
BLOCKS – Alexandria: Lexi Weber 5.

Donoho passes test

Maggie Wakefield had 16 kills and 13 digs, Lily Grace Draper put away 13 kills and Sam Wakefield recorded 37 assists as Donoho defeated Spring Garden in four sets, 25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 25-19. The Lady Falcons are 13-2.

(25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 25-19)
KILLS – Donoho: Lily Grace Draper 13, Maggie Wakefield 16, Mercy Mangum 8, Mary Marshall Perry 9, Yana Osovska 4, Ansley Simmons 1, Sam Wakefield 3.
ASSISTS – Donoho: Lily Grace Draper 1, Sam Wakefield 37, Naira Rehman 3, Ayesha 3.
ACES – Donoho: Lily Grace Draper 3, Mercy Mangum 4, Mary Marshall Perry 1, Sam Wakefield 1, Naira Rehman 1.
DIGS – Donoho: Lily Grace Draper 6, Maggie Wakefield 13, Mercy Mangum 2, Mary Marshall Perry 3, Yana Osovska 2, Sam Wakefield 8, Naira Rehman 13, Ayesha Siddiqua 7.
BLOCKS – Donoho: Maggie Wakefield 2, Mercy Mangum 1, Yana Osovska 1.

Pleasant Valley sweeps Weaver

Pleasant Valley opened its area schedule with a 25-20, 25-8, 25-20 victory over Weaver behind 12 kills from Rylee Haynes and 10 kills and five blocks from Lily Henry.

(25-20, 25-8, 25-20)
KILLS – Pleasant Valley: Lily Henry 10, Rylee Haynes 12, Allie Bryant 4, Maddie Schwabe 4, Tori Turner 2, Baylee Willis 2.
ASSISTS – Pleasant Valley: Rylee Haynes 6, Allie Bryant 11.
ACES – Pleasant Valley: Lily Henry 1, Madi Hay 2, Rebekah Gannaway 1.
DIGS – Pleasant Valley: Lily Henry 4, Rylee Haynes 3, Allie Bryant 2, Maddie Schwabe 4, Madi Hay 4.
BLOCKS – Pleasant Valley: Lily Henry 5, Rylee Haynes 1, Maddie Schwabe 1, Tori Turner 1, Baylee Willis 3.

Lady Tigers sweep

Karley Boyd had 16 kills and Kynsi Hazzard had 14 as Cleburne County won its area opener over Munford 3-0 (25-11, 25-14, 25-9). Libby Altman distributed 31 assists and Hailey Price had 16 digs for the Lady Tigers (8-2).

Anijah Gladden had three kills and five digs for Munford. Mekiah Mosley had 11 digs, and Kirsten Rogers had seven digs and six assists.

“We’re still working on our mentality and mindset,” Munford coach Destinee Briskey said. “Our inexperience shows against quality opponents, but I’m confident as the season progresses we will get better at competing.
Cleburne County is a solid team and they play with a lot of grit.”

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