Lady Eagles advance to state finals
Published 10:08 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2018
The Pleasant Home Lady Eagles picked up a pair of wins on Thursday at the Class 1A state tournament in Birmingham to earn their first-ever trip to the state championship game tonight.
PLEASANT HOME 25, MEEK 16
Pleasant Home got things rolling on the day with a 25-16 victory over Meek.
River Baldwin opened up the scoring with a thunderous kill to put the Lady Eagles up 1-0.
Meek battled right back and went up 4-2.
Baldwin trimmed the deficit down to 4-3 with a big kill, but Meek managed to stay on top for a little while longer.
Another kill from Baldwin left the Lady Eagles down by one point and then Sarah Kathryn Guilford followed with an ace to tie the game 7-7.
Baldwin then got a kill to give the Lady Eagles an 8-7 lead.
Hope Gunter came up big with a dig that found an opening on the floor to put the Lady Eagles up 10-9.
Baldwin and Guilford then alternated picking up kills as they helped Pleasant Home stretch their lead up to 18-11.
Guilford picked up another kill and then three-straight aces helped the Lady Eagles come away with a 25-16 win.
PLEASANT HOME 26, MEEK 24
In the second game of the series, the Lady Eagles needed overtime to knock off Meek 26-24 to go up 2-0.
Game two started a lot like game one with the lead changing hands several times in the early stages.
Pleasant Home went up 6-4 with kill from Guilford and looked like they might take control of the game.
However, Meek didn’t give in as they managed to tie the game 10-10.
Baldwin gave the Lady Eagles the lead back when she found an opening in the floor on a tip.
Baldwin followed with a pair of kills to put Pleasant Home on top 13-10.
The Lady Eagles used the run to go up 15-10.
Meek still wasn’t going away without a fight as they managed to tie the game 17-17.
Back-to-back kills from Guilford then gave Pleasant Home a 19-17 lead.
Baldwin then tallied back-to-back kills to give her team a 22-19 advantage.
Meek once again battled back and tied the game 22-22 and then went up 23-22.
Pleasant Home then got back-to-back points to go up 24-23 before Meek tied the game at 24-24.
The Lady Eagles then got the next two points to earn a 26-24 victory.
MEEK 25, PLEASANT HOME 20
Meek avoided elimination in the third game with a 25-20 victory over the Lady Eagles.
Early kills from Baldwin had the Lady Eagles trailing 6-3.
Meek continued to apply the pressure as they increased their advantage to 8-3.
Guilford cut into the Meek lead with a kill and then an ace from Gunter left the Lady Eagles down 10-6.
The Lady Eagles came charging back, tied the game and then took the lead following a pair of aces from Amy Kate Bulger.
Meek then took the lead back and Baldwin came up with a block to leave the Lady Eagles trailing 18-17.
A few moments later, Guilford had a big kill and then an ace from Gunter tied the game 20-20.
Meek then got the final five points to pick up a 25-20 win.
PLEASANT HOME 25, MEEK 11
The Lady Eagles secured a spot in the state semifinals after knocking off Meek 25-11 to win the series 3-1.
Pleasant Home came out on a mission and quickly built a 14-0 lead without breaking a sweat.
A block from Baldwin gave the Lady Eagles a 16-3 lead and then Meek picked up a short run to bring the score to 16-8.
Baldwin had a pair of kills a few minutes later to give the Lady Eagles a 23-10 advantage.
The Lady Eagles then closed out the series with a 25-11 victory.
SEMIFINALS, GAME 1
PLEASANT HOME 25, LINDSEY LANE 18
Pleasant Home got off the semifinal match started on a the right note as they knocked off the Lindsey Lake Lady Lions 25-18 in the first game of the series.
Baldwin got the Lady Eagles on the board first with a big kill to open the game.
Both teams matched points for the next few scores before back-to-back kills from Baldwin gave Pleasant Home a 6-4 lead.
Lindsey Lane then surged out front 10-6.
Guilford up with a big kill a few moments later to put the Lady Eagles down 10-7.
The Lady Lions then stretched their lead to 15-9 before the Lady Eagles made a comeback.
Bella Worley picked up a ace to cut the Lady Lions’ lead down to 15-14.
Three kills from Baldwin then gave the Lady Eagles a 19-16 advantage.
The Lady Eagles finished strong to pick up a 25-18 win and take a 1-0 lead in the series.
SEMIFINALS, GAME 2 PLEASANT HOME 25, LINDSEY LANE 23
In the second game of the series, the Lady Eagles picked up a 25-23 win to put them within one victory of making it to the Class 1A state championship for the first time in school history.
Bulger picked up an early ace to give the Lady Eagles a 3-1 lead.
Guilford picked up a couple of kills to help the Lady Eagles go up 8-5.
Pleasant Home built onto their lead with an ace from Gunter a couple of kills from Baldwin.
Lindsey Lake fought back and grabbed a lead late in the game, but the Lady Eagles continued to make them work.
Guilford came up with another kill to give the Lady Eagles a 22-21 lead and then picked up another kill to put them up 23-22.
Pleasant Home held off the Lady Lions to pick up a 25-23 win and take a 2-0 series lead.
SEMIFINALS, GAME 3
PLEASANT HOME 25, LINDSEY LANE 14
In the third game, the Lady Eagles finished off the three-game sweep to earn a spot in the state championship game.
Lindsey Lane went up 2-0 to start the game, but Pleasant Home battled back to take the lead.
Baldwin put the Lady Eagles up 7-3 with a big kill as the Lady Eagles stretched out their lead.
Lindsey Lane wasn’t going down without a fight as they battled back to tie the game 11-11.
Pleasant Home then took complete control of they game as they jumped on top 21-13.
A big block from Baldwin then gave the Lady Eagles a 23-14 lead.
Pleasant Home was then able to finish it off and pick up a 25-14 win to send them to the Class 1A state title game.
“We are just overwhelmed with excitement right now,” Pleasant Home head coach Tony Wilson said. “This is the first time in history that our volleyball team has made it to the state championship. We’ve had two runners-up in softball, but we’ve never won a state championship in any girls’ sport. We’ve been here five years in a row, but we’ve never been to the state championship game. We have a chance tomorrow to do what no other girls team has done and that’s to win a state championship.”
The Lady Eagles’s strong showing led to the solid, three-game set, he said.
“It’s a little expression that they came up with and it’s about keeping their foot on the gas,” Wilson said. “I think we just played extremely well. We made good coverages. We haven’t covered that well all year, but we covered the ball real well tonight.”
Pleasant Home will take on the winner between Athen Bible and Faith Christian today at 6:30 p.m.