E.A. Sports Today

Regional volleyball

Faith Christian keeps conquering narratives with runner-up finish at South Super Regional, earns coach a shot at alma mater in Elite Eight. Spring Garden, Cherokee County finish third. Includes regional results and state pairings.

Cover photo: Faith Christian’s volleyball team poses with the AHSAA South Super Regional runner-up trophy Friday in Montgomery. (Submitted photo)

By East Alabama Sports Today

Where Avery Gowens went to high school, girls’ sports lived on the plus side of narratives. He appears to have Faith Christian’s volleyball team believing it belongs on the plus side just in time to play his alma mater in the state tournament.

Faith beat Sweet Water 3-1 to reach Friday’s AHSAA South Super Regional Class 1A final. The Lions lost to University Charter 3-1 but came away as the South’s No. 2 seed, which put them on collision course with North No. 3 Spring Garden.

The two will play Wednesday at noon in the state quarterfinals at Birmingham CrossPlex, and Gowens will see his first state tournament since he went as a student to watch Spring Garden play in 2014.

Gowens joked about it with his current team after Friday’s South Super Regional final, but Faith (35-22) didn’t go to Montgomery in a joking mood. They continued to prove something by sweeping two Thursday matches to clinch their first state berth since 2018, then validated it by reaching the super regional final.

“They went into regionals giving their all, and from start to finish, they gave it their all every play and every point,” Gowens said. “Going into the season, I have been pushing the girls telling them we are changing the narrative of Faith being overlooked and passed off as a beatable team.

“The girls really fed into that this season, and they showed up at regionals to establish it.”

Faith went 3-1 during its stay in Montgomery, beating R.C. Hatch, Brantley and Sweet Water before falling to University Charter.

“Overall, I couldn’t be more proud of the girls and their performance over the last two days,” Gowens said. “There was not a time I can think of where the girls did not impress me with their performance.”

Faith Christian’s stats for the day:

— Ally Folsom: 14 digs, two aces, 22 kills, five blocks.
— Anna Kate Robertson: nine digs, two aces, 52 assists, four kills.
— Sarah Katz: 14 digs.
— Serenity Pate: one dig, 16 kills, five blocks.
— Cheyenne Rice: six digs, nine aces, five kills, four blocks.
— Kaylee Hughes: 17 digs, three aces, five kills.
— Hannah Hubbard: three digs, two assists, six kills.
— Kayson Cronan: 25 digs, two assists

Spring Garden

The Panthers (51-6) beat Jefferson Christian 25-7, 25-6, 25-11 and Shoals Christian 25-10, 25-9, 25-14 on Thursday to clinch an Elite Eight berth then lost a five-set semifinal to Addison 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 20-25, 10-15 on Friday. Spring Garden rebounded to sweep Athens Bible 25-15, 25-6, 25-13 in the third-place match.

The Panthers will open Elite Eight play against Faith Christian on Wednesday at noon at Birmingham CrossPlex.

— Ace Austin: four aces, 67 kills, 20 digs, five blocks, three assists.
— Avery Steward: seven aces, two aces, 144 assists, one kill.
— Chloe Rule: 43 kills, 11 blocks.
— Maggie Jarrett: four aces, 18 digs, 10 kills, one block.
— Olivia Law: four aces, four digs, 28 kills, nine blocks.
— Layla Ingram: six aces, 27 digs, one assist, 
— Helena Ingram: five assists, two digs.
— Maggie Reedy: one dig.
— Libby Brown: four kills, one block.
— Kristen Lewis: five aces, 20 digs.

Cherokee County

Madison County swept the Warriors (34-17) in the Class 4A North Super Regional semifinals, but they beat Corner 23-25, 25-21, 25-21, 10-25, 15-9 for third place. Cherokee County will open Elite Eight play against South Class 4A runner up UMS Wright on Wednesday at 9 a.m. at Birmingham CrossPlex.

Cherokee County stats from Friday’s third-place match against Corner:

— Neveah Gaidurgis: 18 kills, eight digs, three blocks, three aces.
— Macy Lea: 38 assists, three kills, four digs, three blocks.
— Ava Haygood: 14 kills, 11 digs, three aces, two blocks.
— Raegan Garmany: five kills, one dig.
— Emilee Paul: 11 digs, two aces, two assists.
— Ellisan Givens: 14 digs, one ace.

Regional 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)
Mountain Brook def. Oxford, 3-0 (Semifinals)
Oxford def. Shades Valley, 3-0 (For third place)

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 def. Brewer, 3-2 (Semifinals)
Alexandria def. Lawrence County, 3-0 (Championship)

Class 4A

Good Hope def. White Plains, 3-0
Jacksonville def. Oneonta, 3-0
Madison County def. Jacksonville, 3-0
Cherokee County def. Cordova, 3-0
Cherokee County def. Priceville, 3-2 (Clinches state berth)
Madison County def. Cherokee County, 3-0 (Semifinals)
Cherokee County def. Corner, 3-2 (For third place)

Class 3A

Glencoe def. Fayette County, 3-0
Glencoe def. Susan Moore, 3-2
Ohatchee def. Vinemont, 3-0
Plainview def. Ohatchee, 3-0
Danville def. Piedmont, 3-1
Geraldine 3, Glencoe 0
Westbrook Christian def. Glencoe, 3-1 (For third place)

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)
Sand Rock def. Donoho, 3-2
Pleasant Valley def. Lexington, 3-0
Pleasant Valley def. Sand Rock, 3-0 (Championship)
Lexington def. Donoho, 3-0 (For third place)

Class 1A

Spring Garden def. Jefferson Christian, 3-0
Spring Garden def. Shoals Christian, 3-0 (clinches state berth)
Addison def. Spring Garden, 3-2 (Semifinals)
Spring Garden def. Athens Bible, 3-0 (For third place)

AHSAA South Regional
Cramton Bowl Multiplex, Montgomery
Class 4A

Munford def. Bibb County, 3-0
LAMP def. Munford, 3-0
Montevallo def. Talladega, 3-0

Class 3A

Prattville def. Randolph County, 3-0
Wellborn def, Alabama Christian, 3-1.
Wellborn def. Ashford, 3-1 (Clinches state berth)
Mobile Christian def. Wellborn, 3-0
Prattville Christian def. Wellborn, 3-0 (For third place)

Class 1A

Faith Christian def. R.C. Hatch, 3-0
Faith Christian def. Brantley, 3-0 (Clinches state berth)
University Charter def. Wadley, 3-0
Faith Christian def. Sweet Water, 3-1 (Semifinals)
University Charter def. Faith Christian, 3-1 (Championship)

State pairings


Tuesday, 1:30 p.m.
Oxford vs. Bayside Academy

Tuesday, 10:30 a.m.
Alexandria vs. Rehobeth

Wednesday, 9 a.m.
Cherokee County vs. UMS Wright

Tuesday, 9 a.m.
Glencoe vs. Mobile Christian
Wellborn vs. Plainview

Tuesday, noon
Pleasant Valley vs. Wicksburg
Donoho vs. G.W. Long

Wednesday, noon
Faith Christian vs. Spring Garden

You must be logged in to post a comment Login