E.A. Sports Today

Regional volleyball

Big first day for Calhoun County teams as Oxford, Alexandria, Pleasant Valley, Donoho and Wellborn punch tickets to Elite Eight.

By East Alabama Sports Today

Calhoun County high school volleyball showed out on the state level Wednesday.

Alexandria, Donoho, Pleasant Valley and Oxford clinched berths in next week’s Elite Eight, each winning two matches at the North Regional in Huntsville’s Von Braun Center. Wellborn got it done in the South Regional, in Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl Multiplex.

Ohatchee won its first-round match Wednesday before falling to Plainview in the quarterfinals.

The top four teams in each classification advance to state.

All told, five Calhoun County teams reached the Elite Eight, including three out of four semifinalists in the Calhoun County tournament. Ohatchee, the other semifinalist, won a match at region a year after reaching the semifinals with then-county player of the year Jorda Crook.

Pleasant Valley and Donoho, last year’s Class 2A state finalists, reached Thursday’s regional semifinals and could meet in the final before going to Birmingham.

Jacksonville, White Plains and Faith Christian all begin regional play Thursday, Jacksonville and White Plains in Huntsville and Faith in Montgomery.

The county’s regional haul comes a week after six county teams hosted area tournaments, meaning they earned the top seed in the regular season.

Here’s a breakdown of how the day went, with results, pairings and statistics:

Class 6A North, Oxford

Calhoun County runner up Oxford earned a return trip to Birmingham after getting there for the first time since 2016, in 2022. The Yellow Jackets beat Muscle Shoals 19-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-17 and Gardendale 25-14, 25-17, 25-9, sweeping the day’s final six sets.

Oxford will play Mountain Brook in Thursday’s 2 p.m. regional semifinals. The Yellow Jackets’ top performers:

—Jamea Gaston: 52 digs.
—Kaelyn Crossley: 25 digs.
—Arilyn Pool: 19 digs.
—Payton Brooks: 64 assists, one block.
—Ava Thomas: 40 kills, one block.
—Mileah Prince: 21 kills, four blocks.
—Jaslyn Montgomery: 13 kills, 10 blocks.

Class 5A North, Alexandria

Alexandria reached 50 wins on the season, beating Hayden 25-8, 25-16, 25-13 and Madison Academy 25-20, 25-21, 25-13. The Valley Cubs will play Brewer in Thursday’s 12:45 p.m. regional semifinal.

Alexandria returns to state for the first time since 2020. Top performers for the Valley Cubs:

—Kailey Dickerson: 28 kills, 13 digs, one block, three aces.
—Eryn Spradley: 17 kills, five digs, five aces.
—Kirsten Heathcock: one kill.
—Cassidy Hartfield: 15 kills, two digs, one block.
—Kaden Pritchett: five kills, two digs, three blocks.
—Devan White: four assists, 19 digs, two aces.
—Ava Johnson: one kill, one assist, 14 digs, two aces.
—Charlee Parris: 10 digs.
—Christian Hess: three kills, 28 assists, nine digs, three aces.
—Sophie Martin: one kill, 25 assists, three digs, one block.
—McKinley Cooper: two kills, three digs, one block.

Class 3A South, Wellborn

In the South Region, Wellborn (32-9) earned its first state-tourney berth since 2004 by beating Alabama Christian 22-25, 28-18, 25-21, 25-21 and Ashford 18-25, 25-18, 26-24, 25-21. The Panthers will play Mobile Christian in Thursday’s 12:45 p.m. regional semifinals.

Top performers for Wellborn:

—Anna Odom: 18 kills, one block.
—Annalee Rinehard: three aces, six digs.
—Bentley Bean: two kills.
—Calla Hayes: one ace, 18 kills, three digs.
—Destiny Benefield: one ace, two digs.
—Diana Rodriguez: six digs.
—Gracie Lewis: four aces, three kills, 45 assist, one dig.
—Hannah Grubbs: two aces, six kills, four digs.
—Libby Smith: seven kills, one dig.
—Ryleigh Smith: three digs.

Class 2A North, Donoho

The reigning 2A state champion advanced to state by sweeping Holly Pond 25-17, 25-22, 25-23 and winning a five-setter against Lindsay Lane, 25-21, 17-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-5. The Falcons will play Sand Rock in Thursday’s 2 p.m. semifinals.

Top performers for Donoho:

—Estella Connell: 25 kills, one assist, four aces, seven digs, 10 blocks.
—Sam Wakefield: 21 kills, two assists, 57 digs.
—Ryals Jones: 10 kills, two assists, one dig, six blocks.
—Callie Taylor: one kill, 66 assists, one ace, 17 digs, one block.
—Kate Williamon: 22 kills, two assists, seven aces, 34 digs,
—Ava Michaels: three kills, 21 digs.
—Caroline Padgett: one assist, three aces, 11 digs.
—Anna Kate Whitson: two aces, 14 digs.
—Lindsey Brewer: 10 digs.
—Alana Maldonado: two kills, two assists, one dig, two blocks.

Class 2A North, Pleasant Valley

The reigning Calhoun County champion and 2A state runner up swept Southeastern 25-5, 25-13, 25-10 and Falkville 25-17, 25-15, 25-11. The Raiders will play Lexington in a 2 p.m. semifinal Thursday.

—Lily Henry: 31 kills, seven aces, 14 digs.
—Ella Parris: six kills, five digs, 13 blocks.
—Allie Bryant: 16 kills, six aces, 26 digs, one block.
—Maddie Schwabe: seven kills, 59 assists, three aces, 10 digs, six blocks.
—Madison Schwabe: eight kills, one assist, 18 digs, four blocks.
—Ellie Patterson: seven kills, one dig, six blocks.
—Madi Hay: two aces, 17 digs.

Results, pairings

AHSAA North Regional
Von Braun Center, Huntsville
Class 6A

Oxford def. Muscle Shoals, 3-1
Oxford def. Gardendale, 3-0 (Oxford clinches state berth)
Oxford vs. Mountain Brook, 2 p.m.

Class 5A

Alexandria def. Hayden, 3-0
Alexandria def. Madison Academy, 3-0 (Alexandria clinches state berth)
Southside def. Jasper, 3-1
Arab def. Southside, 3-0
Alexandria vs. Brewer, 12:45 p.m.

Class 4A

White Plains vs. Good Hope, 9 a.m.
Jacksonville vs. Oneonta, 9 a.m.
Cherokee County vs. Cordova, 10:15 a.m.

Class 3A

Glencoe def. Fayette County, 3-0
Susan Moore vs. Glencoe, 3:30 p.m.
Ohatchee def. Vinemont, 3-0
Plainview def. Ohatchee, 3-0
Danville def. Piedmont, 3-1

Class 2A

Donoho def. Holly Pond, 3-0
Donoho def. Lindsay Lane, 3-2 (Donoho clinches state berth)
Pleasant Valley def. Southeastern, 3-0
Pleasant Valley def. Falkville, 3-0 (PV clinches state berth)
Donoho vs. Sand Rock, 2 p.m.
Pleasant Valley vs. Lexington, 2 p.m.

Class 1A

Spring Garden vs. Jefferson Christian, 10:15 a.m.

AHSAA South Regional
Cramton Bowl Multiplex, Montgomery
Class 4A

Munford vs. Bibb County, 9 a.m.
Talladega vs. Montevallo, 9 a.m.

Class 3A

Prattville def. Randolph County, 3-0
Wellborn def, Alabama Christian, 3-1.
Wellborn def. Ashford, 3-1 (Wellborn clinches state berth)
Wellborn vs. Mobile Christian, 12:45.

Class 1A

Faith Christian vs. R.C. Hatch, 10:15 a.m.
Wadley vs. University Charter, 11:30 a.m.

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