A runner-up finish
MONROEVILLE — Andalusia lost 3-1 to Monroe County to finish as the runner up of the Class 4A, Area 2 tournament on Tuesday night.
The Lady Bulldogs went back and forth against the Lady Tigers in the 21-25, 17-25, 27-25, 17-25 effort, which was a bit one-sided at times.
One of the many bright spots for AHS came in its first match, where the Lady Bulldogs beat Hillcrest-Evergreen 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-19) to secure a berth to play in the South Super Regional, which starts on Friday at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.
AHS volleyball coach Angie Grimes said the girls will get back to work and get better for the tournament on Friday.
“We’re just going to continue to work on what we need to improve on,” Grimes said. “We made some changes tonight that I thought worked well for us.”
The changes included Grimes putting more taller girls at the front, near the net to provide blocking and easy point opportunities.
At times during the championship match against the Lady Tigers, the Lady Bulldogs play on the back row looked better.
“That’s where we’ve got to continue our passes, which definitely looked a lot better,” Grimes said.
Andalusia will play the winner of Area 5 at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in the first round of the tournament, which is in a single elimination format.
The Lady Bulldogs trailed early against Monroe County in their first set of the championship match.
After going back and forth on several points, AHS tied it at 7-7, 9-9 and then went on to take a 15-12 lead.
Points were given back and forth until Andalusia took a 20-19 lead. MCHS then tied it up at 20-all and went on a 3-0 run to go ahead 23-20.
Andalusia cut the lead to 23-21, but MCHS took it the rest of the way.
Another back-and-forth effort dictated the early going in the second set, as Andalusia went on a 4-0 run to tie it at 8-8.
MCHS went on a 5-0 run to lead 13-9, and followed that up with a 7-0 run to take a 20-11 lead.
Emily Theus put up a big block for AHS to get the Lady Bulldogs back to within a respectable deficit at 20-13 a short time later.
Shelby Meeks came up with a block and cut the score to 17-22, but MCHS served out the rest of the way for an opening 2-0 lead.
Andalusia went on a 9-0 run late in the third set and took a 24-21 lead. MCHS bounced back to tie it at 24-all and the Lady Bulldogs held on late to win their third game over the Lady Tigers this season.
There was a big celebration after getting the third-game win on the Andalusia sideline.
AHS fell behind 12-17 and couldn’t recover in the fourth set, where the Lady Tigers went on a three 4-0 runs throughout.
Andalusia’s Alexis Lawrence had seven kills; Meeks had four blocks; and Haley Harper, who was a serving machine, served five aces and had six assists.
Andalusia 3, Hillcrest-Evergreen 0
Meeks and Merikal McCaskill had four kills each, Rachel Dayton and Harper had five aces each and Lawrence added six kills to help lead Andalusia to the 25-13, 25-16, 25-19 thrashing over the Lady Jaguars.
The Lady Bulldogs trailed in each set, but quickly recovered to get the wins.
AHS went on a 9-0 run in the first set to make it 21-12.
Finishing out the opening set on a 4-0 run, the Lady Bulldogs cruised to a 18-8 lead in the second set after another run that was highlighted on a big hit from McCaskill.
Andaluisa led 18-9 in the final set, but HHS came back to make it a two-point game at 19-17 late in the closer.
Stephanie Watts, who played a stellar game in getting everywhere on the court she needed to be, closed out the match on an ace.