Area Champions

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Straughn’s Jacie Williamson (10) kills the ball during the Lady Tigers’ area-tournament win over Ashford Tuesday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn opened up the broom cabinet Tuesday night and swept Ashford and Andalusia 3-0 to win the Class 4A, Area 2 volleyball championship at home.

The Lady Tigers (23-8), along with the Lady Bulldogs, advance to play in the South Super Regional on Friday in Montgomery. SHS plays Handley at 11:30 a.m. AHS plays Leeds at 9 a.m. in the first round.

Throughout the day, SHS put on a strong show with its stellar serving and wrathful hitting at the net.

“All the way around, they played hard,” Lady Tigers head volleyball coach Daniel Rodgers said. “They had a great attitude about it. They’re champions. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Andalusia beat Headland 3-0 (25-11, 25-11, 25-14) in the tournament semifinals to gain a berth to the championship.

In the title game, the Lady Tigers went ahead 1-0 easily after the first set, but AHS made it a little difficult with some runs in sets two and three.

Straughn prevailed by winning the match 25-12, 25-20, 25-20 for the title.

“I’m just glad that we’re advancing,” AHS head volleyball coach Angie Grimes said. “We definitely have some areas we have to work on before we show up in Montgomery before we get there on Friday. We have some time to work on some things.”

Those things Grimes was talking about were a lot of unforced errors.

“We had five net serves within five points,” she said. “That’s something you just can’t do. You’ve got to come out strong. You can’t play catchup.”

Grimes did give the girls credit for working hard to make it a close match in the second and third sets against SHS. The Lady Bulldogs went on a 4-0 run with SHS ahead 24-16 to spoil game-point opportunities.

Straughn led 7-2 early in the first set, then 19-8 later on. The Lady Tigers held a 21-9 lead at one point of the game.

Ashley Hughes got a kill to give SHS a 6-2 lead in the first, but Andalusia’s Alexis Lawrence answered later to cut the game to 13-7.

In the second set, Straughn’s Jacie Williamson got things going with a kill of authority for the Lady Tigers’ first point.

However, Andalusia crawled back to tie it at 5-5, but lost the edge and found itself trailing 14-7.

AHS then went on a 5-0 run to cut it to 23-16 before going on the 4-0 run to spoil the Lady Tigers’ chances of winning the second at the time.

“They got a little momentum at the end of the second set,” Rodgers said. “I told the girls to not quit. I told the girls that it’s a game of runs. I told them they had their’s, now let’s have ours. We had some good serving from Meredith Rogers and she gave us a cushion. Andalusia did a good job of double-blocking some of our swingers.”

Rogers’ serving came in the third set as she helped the Lady Tigers go on a 6-0 run with her laser-like placement.

Lawrence had seven kills and Shelby Meeks had five kills to lead Andalusia in the championship.

Williamson led Straughn with nine aces and five kills; Katelyn Kinsaul had 11 assists and six digs; and Rogers had five aces.

Every player went more than 75 percent on serves for the Lady Bulldogs in their win over Headland.

Lawrence had nine kills, and Keyasha Comer had six kills.

The Lady Tigers beat Ashford 25-9, 25-16, 25-11 and were led by Kinsaul, who had 22 assists. Williamson had 10 kills and five aces; Paige Taylor, who played well on the back line, had six aces and three kills; Hannah Lawless and Lexie Cottle had four kills each.