Lady Eagles win area title

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, October 21, 2014

1021 spt-Shelby Nixon

Pleasant Home’s Shelby Nixon waits for the opportunity to serve Monday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

PHS girls sweep J.U. Blacksher; RLHS girls end season

Pleasant Home wasn’t awarded its trophy first Monday night and that suits Lady Eagles head volleyball coach Jerry Davis just fine.

PHS beat J.U. Blacksher 3-0 (25-3, 25-9, 25-6) to win the Class 1A, Area 3 tournament championship.

Davis said in the seven years of volleyball at PHS, the school has been runner up twice under the super regional format and two other times.

“This is our fourth year actually advancing in the playoffs of the area,” Davis said. “We’re where we want to be.”

With the win, the No. 8 Lady Eagles (22-5) advance to play Area 6 runner up, Akron Community School, at 6:45 p.m. on Friday in the first round of the South Super Regional at the Multiplex of the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.

Davis said Akron is quite athletic.

“We played them two years ago in Tuscaloosa,” he said. “They’re going to be playing with a lot of emotion and intensity. This is their last year as a school. I feel good about it, but when you get to this level now, most everybody you’re going to see is going to be good. If we play well, then we’ll be fine.”

The Lady Eagles sure did play well last night.

PHS went ahead 6-0 in the first set with Anna Bulger on serve. Then, the Lady Eagles increased their lead to 10-2 to effectively put the game out of reach for JUBHS.

During the second set, both teams went back and forth early, but PHS found itself ahead 18-6 and never looking back.

Lady Eagles middle hitter River Baldwin laced a sharp kill over the net to get it to 19-6.

Bulger helped the girls get to a 7-0 lead in the deciding set, and then Kaitlyn Huckabaa carried PHS home on serve for the match.

Davis said Akron will be everywhere on the court.

“They’ve got the whole deal,” he said. “They can pass and hit it. They’re very athletic. They’re going to be in all of the right places. They’re playing out of the Montgomery area, and Montgomery has some pretty decent volleyball teams.”

Red Level fell to the Lady Bulldogs 3-0 (19-25, 15-25, 25-27) to end its season without recording a win.

The Lady Tigers stayed close with JUBHS early in the first two sets, but the Lady Bulldogs pulled away to go up by two.

In set three, RLHS made it seem like it was going to push the match to a fourth set, but JUBHS spoiled five set-point opportunities to win a close one.

“They played their hearts out in there,” RLHS volleyball coach Gail Lee said.

When asked what it’s going to take to get over the hump of trying to win a match next season, Lee said there are two things the girls must work on.

“All we can do is work and push,” she said.

In the Class 1A, Area 2 tournament, Florala lost 3-0 to Brantley. The Lady Wildcats finished 2-12 on the season.

Opp finished as the runner up of the Class 3A, Area 2 tournament in T.R. Miller.

The Lady Bobcats defeated Hillcrest-Evergreen 3-1 (18-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-10) in the semifinals and lost to TRM 3-0 (20-25, 21-25, 11-25) in the finals.

Opp advances to the super regional in Montgomery, where it will face Oakman at 3 p.m. on Friday.