E.A. Sports Today

Lady Cubs Carostrongest

Alexandria sweeps three matches to win Jacksonville’s Carostrong Round-Robin, Sylacauga rallies to Jacksonville in tiebreaker for second-best record

Jacksonville Carostrong Tournament
Alexandria 3, Sylacauga 0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-12)
Jacksonville 3, Weaver 0 (25-8, 26-24, 26-24)
Sylacauga 3, Weaver 0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-19)
Alexandria 3, Jacksonville 0 (25-10, 25-17, 25-22)
Alexandria 3, Weaver 0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-11)
Sylacauga 3, Jacksonville 2 (15-25, 12-25, 25-17, 25-14, 15-11)
Pleasant Valley Quad
DAR 3, Oxford 0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-16)
Oxford 3, White Plains 2 (25-9, 22-25, 25-13, 20-25, 15-5)
Pleasant Valley 2, Oxford 1 (25-4, 16-25, 15-9)
Pleasant Valley 3, White Plains 0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-11)
Pleasant Valley 3, DAR 1 (25-17, 20-25, 40-38, 25-20)
DAR 3, White Plains 0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-15)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – The players on the Alexandria volleyball team know they’ve got a good thing going and they want to keep it going for as long as possible. As soon as they got in the locker room after clinching the best record in Saturday’s Carostrong Tournament at Jacksonville, one of the Lady Cubs said to no one in particular, “Let’s keep the streak alive.”

The Lady Cubs swept three quality opponents in the round-robin tournament – host Jacksonville, Sylacauga and Weaver – without dropping a set. They improved to 5-0 on the young season and have yet to drop a set.

“I’m proud of them for that, but we’ve got to get better,” Lady Cubs coach Whitney Welch said. 

The most intriguing local matchup was between Alexandria and Jacksonville. The teams traded points early, then the Lady Cubs broke off a 16-2 run to take control. The Lady Cubs pulled away in the second set two or three points at a time. The third set was intense with 15 ties after Jacksonville opened a 3-0 lead.

The last tie came at 18. Alexandria then went on a 5-1 run to set the stage for the win. Jacksonville got it back within one, 23-22, but Welch called time and the Lady Cubs responded with the final two points of the match.

The Lady Cubs’ front line of Kailey Dickerson, Brie Troup and Eryn Spradley combined for 22 kills in the match, 59 in the tournament. Christian Hess distributed 25 assists in the Jacksonville match and Ava Johnson had four kills and nine digs.

Weaver didn’t win a game in the tournament, but the Lady Bearcats were hardly pushovers.

Their first set of the day against Jacksonville was forgettable, but after that they took to Lady Golden Eagles to a pair of 26-24 dogfights. They were in all three sets with Sylacauga and led Alexandria in each of the first two sets of their match, as late as 13-11 in Set 2.

“I feel like we’ve gotten much better since our opening play dates and our last games and I think we can work with that,” Weaver coach Chelsea Mize said. “We made a couple adjustments on the floor and I definitely think we’re building and going in the right direction, so I’m happy with that.”

Madison Atchley led the Lady Bearcats with 14 kills. Alana Cooper had 29 assists and Sydney Bitzer gave them a strong floor game with 45 digs. Atchley had six kills in the Jacksonville match and Bitzer kept the ball alive with 21 digs. Atchley, Bitzer and Gracie Duncan were all over the floor in the Alexandria match, recording 10, 13 and 14 digs, respectively.

“I’m very pleased to hang in there with teams like Jacksonville and Alexandria,” Mize said. “They’re always huge teams in the county so that gives me hope that we’re headed in the right direction. We’ve just got to finish.”

With Alexandria safely in the house with the tournament championships, Jacksonville looked primed to grab the second spot. The Lady Golden Eagles built a fairly easy two sets to none lead on Sylacauga in the last match on the floor (25-15, 25-12), but the Aggies, coached by former Donoho coach Jamie Clendenin, stormed back against an inexperienced team starting to feel the effects of a long day to win the next two sets (25-17, 25-14) and tie the match before winning the 15-point tiebreaker 15-11.

The Aggies opened a 13-5 lead in the tiebreaker before Jacksonville rallied. The Lady Golden Eagles drew back to within 13-11, forcing Clendening to burn two time outs in a space of three points, before Makasia Crawford spiked the final two points.

“I’m just proud of them,” Clendenin said. “You lose the first two sets, what normally happens is you’re going to lose the third, fourth and fifth, or you may win the third but then the fourth one’s tough.

“We didn’t even play well until that third set for the majority of the day. The fact they found a way to play how I knew they were capable of is pretty special. The girls did a phenomenal job of just rallying together and finding a way to get the job done.”

Carostrong Tournament

ALEXANDRIA (3-0 today, 5-0 overall))KASTDBLSA
Kailey Dickerson2801214
Brie Troup110231
Eryn Spradley200521
Christian Hess152542
Pressley Slaton118100
Devan White4131408
Ava Johnson10122012
Kirsten Heathcock5001 0
Brenlee Sparks00702
Lauren Weber20200
Madison Foster30010
Clancy Bright00500
Cassidy Hartsfield10010
Abby Wilczek572002
Caitlin Clark320405
Camryn Stone200465
Elizabeth Kadle50000
Mya Swain110050
Nyla Hoult13001 0
Sydney Soriano00202
Robyn Thomas00502
Keelie Leach00300
Carli Fritts021204
Alana Cooper129403
Alie Watson00700
Gracie Duncan002701
Jada Harrington 711020
Jada Lilio90010
Madison Atchley1312211
McKinley Davis41110
Peyton Marvasty60200
Sydney Bitzer124501
Denial Brown10100

Pleasant Valley quad

JACKSONVILLE – Pleasant Valley swept its quad match, taking down DAR with an incredible third-set tiebreaker (40-38), Oxford and White Plains.

Oxford went went 1-2, beating White Plains in five sets, but losing to DAR and Pleasant Valley. White Plains also lost to DAR and their hosts. 

Leighton Arnold – 14 kills, 20 digs, 3 blocked shots.
Bella Higgins – 27 kills, 15 digs, 3 blocked shots.
Macy Scism – 11 kills, 8 aces, 10 digs.
Brateon Moran – 12 digs, 56 assists.

Abbie Mitchell – 13 kills, 11 digs, 3 aces, 2 blocked shots.
JaMae Gaston – 17 digs, 5 assists, 2 aces.
Payton Brooks – 37 assists, 28 digs.
Kaelyn Crossley: 22 digs, 3 aces.
Arilyn Pool: 25 digs, 2 aces.
Sadie Grace Morrison: 6 kills, 8 blocks.
Daelyn Bozeman: 12 kills, 9 digs.
Mileah Prince: 11 kills, 2 blocks.
Jaslyn Montgomery: 12 kills, 3 blocks.

White Plains and Oxford square off for Round 2 Tuesday at White Plains.

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