E.A. Sports Today

Region champs X 2

Donoho sweeps Pleasant Valley to win Class 2A North, Ohatchee wins tense five-setter with Plainview to win Class 3A North; includes first-round pairings in Elite 8 involving area teams

By East Alabama Sports Today

HUNTSVILLE – Donoho and Ohatchee brought regional volleyball titles back to Calhoun County Friday after winning their respective championship matches at the Von Braun Center.

Donoho, the reigning Class 1A state champion, won the Class 2A title with a three-set sweep of county and area rival Pleasant Valley 25-23, 25-22, 25-22. The Lady Falcons beat Fyffe is the semifinals, while PV took down Lindsay Lane to set up a meeting for the fifth time this season between the two new-to-2A county schools.

“it is definitely well deserved by our girls,” Donoho first-year coach Anna Taylor said. “They really showed throughout this tournament that we needed to be in the final and deserved to be in the finals and they won that regional.”

Ohatchee, in the Elite 8 for the first time since 2009, won the Class 3A in a tense five-set brawl with Plainview. The Lady Indians won the tiebreaker 15-13. They beat Geraldine 3-0 in the semifinals. They will play South No. 4 Opp in their Elite 8 match 9 a.m. Oct. 26 at the Birmingham Crossplex.

“Going into this regional we had a goal of making it to state,” Lady Indians coach Rebecca Hughes said. “Not only did we meet that goal, we weren’t satisfied with that. We’ve only been to the state tournament once in Ohatchee history and we’ve never won the regional. These girls are continuing to make history every time they step on the court.

“I have never seen this group play volleyball the way they did the past two days. I can’t even put into words how proud I am of them and what it means to be their coach.”

While there were no MVPs or all-tournament teams named at the regionals, you can bet the leading candidates would have been Donoho’s Lily Grace Draper and Ohatchee’s Jorda Crook.

Draper had 19 kills and 16 digs in the win over Pleasant Valley, 14 kills and 21 digs against Fyffe. Sam Wakefield had 37 assists in the PV win and 65 in the Lady Falcons’ two matches.

Draper and Mary Marshall Perry now have been part of 201 victories in their Donoho varsity careers.

“LG was definitely the go to,” Taylor said. “She was in charge on the court, really took control. She was definitely that person we needed her to be. She had a phenomenal regional, for sure.

“Everybody on the the court had a job and they did it and that really came through for us in this tournament. Some of our girls had the best games they had in this tournament … That’s what it’s going to take for us to finish the year out.”

Crook dominated at the net for Ohatchee as always and was the go-to player in the tiebreaker, which at one point was tied 11-11. Whenever the Lady Indians need points, they simple “Feed the Beast.” She had 65 kills in the two matches, 114 over the two days here.

The title match was truly a back-and-forth affair. Plainview, a 60-win team, won the first set, but Ohatchee took the second. The Lady Bears went up 2-1, but Ohatchee rallied to retie the match. The Lady Indians were down in every set, sometimes by sizable margins, but persevered.

“We battled back over and over and took it one point at a time to give ourselves a chance at the tiebreaker,” Hughes said. “Going into the fifth set we knew we didn’t have time to get ourselves in a hole. It was pretty much point-for-point and we knew we couldn’t let them get too far ahead.

“I basically told the girls you just play one point at a time and take it from them, and that’s exactly what we did. In that last game we knew we had to go all out and give everything we had. Our girls played phenomenal defense the entire game and gave our hitters the chance to do their job. When theme was on the line, Jorda stepped up as a leader and wanted the ball in her hands.”

North Super Regionals

Ohatchee 3, Geraldine 0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-22)
Plainview 3, Susan Moore 0
Ohatchee 3, Plainview 2 (19-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 15-13)

Oct. 26, 9 a.m., Crossplex
N3 Geraldine (32-16) vs. S2 Prattville Christian (35-19)
N1 Ohatchee (43-10) vs. S4 Opp (13-17)
N2 Plainview (61-11) vs. S3 Houston Academy (23-14)
N4 Susan Moore (48-10) vs. S1 St. Luke’s (40-12)
Semifinals, 3 p.m.
Finals, Oct. 27, 10 a.m.

Pleasant Valley 3, Lindsay Lane 0
Donoho 3, Fyffe 0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-13)
Donoho 3, Pleasant Valley 0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-22)

Oct. 25, noon, Crossplex
N3 Lindsay Lane (22-25) vs. S2 Long (28-10)
N1 Donoho (41-13) vs. S4 Washington County (22-5)
N2 Pleasant Valley (40-13) vs. S3 Tuscaloosa Academy (20-9)
N4 Fyffe (21-26) vs. S1 Bayshore Christian (21-21)
Semifinals, 6 p.m.
Finals: Oct. 26, 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 25, 10:30 a.m., Crossplex
N1 Addison (43-10) vs. S4 Kinston (16-15)
N3 Spring Garden (39-14) vs. S2 Pleasant Home (18-12)
N2 Covenant Christian (34-18) vs. S3 Brantley (25-11)
N4 Meek (20-23) vs. S1 University Charter (25-7)
Semifinals, 4 p.m.
Finals: Oct. 26, 12:30 p.m.

Oct. 26, 10:30 a.m., Crossplex
N3 Hazel Green (39-21) vs. S2 Bayside Academy (50-13)
N1 Mountain Brook (49-12) vs. S4 Northridge (36-14)
N2 Hartselle (34-23) vs. S3 Pelham (38-16)
N4 Oxford (24-24) vs. S1 Spanish Fort
Semifinals, 3 p.m.
Finals, Oct. 27, noon

Lily Grace Draper3322371
Ansley Simmons613
Estella Connell15214
Ryals Jones93
Mary Marshall Perry144123
Sam Wakefield1652231
Sarah Waggoner3331
Hannah Sprayberry315
Kate Williamon1215
Blair Kitchen36
Jorda Crook651264
Gracyn Snow224
Hannah Fitch135211
Rebecca Henderson4131
Alanah Fitch122423
Brett Finn322
Ellie Carden14

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