E.A. Sports Today

3 more to B’ham

Donoho, Ohatchee, Pleasant Valley all earn spots in the Elite 8 with two victories Thursday; Oxford, Spring Garden playing in regional consolation matches

North Super Regionals

At Von Braun Center, Huntsville
Addison 3, Spring Garden 0
Spring Garden 3, Meek 0

Pleasant Valley 3, Sand Rock 2
Pleasant Valley 3, Lexington 2

Donoho 3, West End 0 (25-12, 25-2, 25-7)
Donoho 3, Hatton 1 (25-14, 18-25, 25-23, 25-15)

Susan Moore 3, Piedmont 0
Westbrook Christian 3, Colbert County 0
Susan Moore 3, Westbrook Christian 0

Glencoe 3, Colbert Heights 0
Ohatchee 3, Brindlee Mountain 0 (25-17, 25-11, 25-11)
Ohatchee 3, Glencoe 0 (25-11, 25-10, 25-11)

Hartselle 3, Oxford 1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-15, 25-13)
Hazel Green 3, Oxford 0 (25-14, 25-6, 25-17)

South Super Regionals

At Cramton Bowl Multi-Plex, Montgomery
Thomasville 3, Saks 0
Wellborn 3, Excel 0
St. Luke’s Episcopal 3, Wellborn 0

By East Alabama Sports Today

HUNTSVILLE – The pink cowboy hats ride.

Ohatchee earned its first trip to the volleyball Elite Eight since 2009 Thursday when it won a pair of matches over Brindlee Mountain and Glencoe without losing a set in the Class 3A North Super Regional at the Von Braun Center.

The Lady Indians, who broke out the pink cowboy hats as a symbol of team unity during the area tournament, beat Brindlee Mountain 25-17, 25-11, 25-11 and Glencoe to punch their ticket to Birmingham, 25-11, 25-10, 25-11.

“It’s just special for these girls,” Ohatchee coach Rebecca Hughes said. “My youngest player is like 13-, 14-years old; she was a baby baby and most of these kids were the last time Ohatchee made it to the state. I can’t express how proud I am of them.

“I knew from the start of the season — and I know it sounds crazy — we were going to be the team to do this and they have exceeded those expectations. I can’t even put into words how proud and excited we are and hoping to do some damage down there in Birmingham.”

Of course, there are things to do first. The Lady Indians play two matches Friday for Elite 8 seeding. It starts in the regional semifinals against Geraldine at 10 a.m. The Lady Bulldogs denied Ohatchee a berth in the Elite 8 last year in a five-set match the Tribe led in Set 4.

“That was a tough loss for us,” Hughes said. “That one stings. We still talk about that every day.”

Jorda Crook4916175
Gracyn Snow6112
Hannah Fitch32716
Rebecca Henderson949
Alanah Fitch61920
Brett Finn18
Ellie Carden413

Class 2A

1A, 2A, it doesn’t matter. Donoho is going back to Birmingham.

The Lady Falcons (39-13) earned a return trip to the Elite 8 after beating West End (3-0) and Hatton (3-1) in their two matches.

“It is definitely one of the goals we had all year; we made it,” Donoho coach Anna Taylor said. “We knew these two games would be extremely crucial. We had more energy in that (Hatton) game than we had all year. It truly was the difference. We’re just all on Cloud Nine.”

Mary Marshall Perry called the trip clincher “one of the best (games) we’ve ever played, one of the most fun games I’ve played in my career.”

Perry and Lily Grace Draper both passed major milestones in the matches. Perry scored her 1,000th career kill in the win over West End and Draper scored her 2,000th kill in the win over Hatton. They now have been part of 199 wins in their Donoho careers (199-73).

Perry had 20 kills in the two matches, 14 against Hatton. Draper had 21 kills, 13 against Hatton. Sam Wakefield had 59 assists in the two matches.

“I’m really proud of the kills, it means a lot, but in the moment I wasn’t thinking about it, just trying to put us to the next game,” Perry said. “After we beat Hatton to get to state it set in more. It was just great to get to do that with everyone I’ve been playing with for so long and LG getting her 2,000th kill on the same day was just really great.”

“I’m really happy about it, but I’m so happy we made it to state; I’m so proud of my team,” Draper said. “I really didn’t except to get this many. I’m really proud of it and coming this far.”

And it’s not over. The Lady Falcons will now play Fyffe in the regional semifinals Friday at 10 a.m. They beat the Lady Red Devils in their only meeting previously this season.

The Lady Falcons have won the Class 1A state title two of the last three years (and played for it in the other), but were moved to 2A this year because of the state’s competitive balance formula for private schools. Draper said they’ve “definitely proven ourselves and earned this.”

“I think it has its challenges, but we’re holding our own,” Taylor said. “I definitely think with us seeing so many new teams that we had to look at every game objectively, we had to look at this as a new opportunity, because we haven’t seen these teams before. Everything was attention to detail when they had to have attention to detail.

“We knew this second game was going to be a big one and we really came into it with a determined mindset. Playing every team with the attention to detail because they’re new I think that has actually helped us be more focused, especially right here now that it matters. Having to face this as a new experience is motivating them to bring the mental game they need.”

Pleasant Valley punched its ticket to the Elite 8 with a pair of five-set wins in their first two matches. The Lady Raiders will play Lindsay Lane in their regional semifinal Friday at 10 a.m.

“This young team’s hard work, endless hours of practice, hitting it hard in the weight room and determination to show everyone what they can do paid off today,” PV coach Dana Bryant said.

Lily Grace Draper211633
Ansley Simmons922
Estella Connell1447
Ryals Jones711
Mary Marshall Perry208113
Sam Wakefield7591191
Sarah Waggoner1213
Hannah Sprayberry219
Kate Williamon101
Blair Kitchen41
Lily Henry3043210
Ella Parris82199
Allie Bryant3933591
Maddie Schwabe383525
Madison Schwabe152355
Ellie Patterson254
Madi Hay227
Janette Turner14

Class 6A

Oxford will be the fourth seed out of the North after falling to Hazel Green 3-0 in the regional consolation match. Hartselle and Mountain Brook were playing for the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds. The four seeds from the South will be No. 1 Spanish Fort, No. 2 Bayside Academy, Northridge and Pelham. Oxford will play Spanish Fort Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Jamea Gaston21
Payton Brooks4117
Ashlyn Burns9
Abbie Mitchell156
Kaelyn Crossley24
Arilyn Pool7
Sadie Grace Morrison22
Daelyn Bozeman1242
Mileah Prince953
Jaslyn Montgomery84

Class 1A

Spring Garden earned the No. 3 seed out of the North after beating Meek in the consolation match, 3-0. Addison earned the No. 1 seed with a 3-0 win over Covenant Christian. The four seeds from the South are No. 1 University Charter, No. 2 Pleasant Home, Brantley and Kinston.

This story will be updated.

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