Daily photo by Dennis Victory|
Hartselle setter Cerra Little starts the offense during the Tigersí first-round loss to St. Paulís of Mobile.
Hartselle falls in opening round to tough St. Paul's
By Dennis Victory
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PELHAM — Hartselle coach Tanya Lybarger knew the Tigers had a tough draw to open the Class 5A Elite Eight volleyball championship tournament Wednesday at the Pelham Civic Complex.
She watched several tapes of top-ranked St. Paul's and was impressed by the skill and resourcefulness of the Saints.
Lybarger needed to be concerned.
St. Paul's swept the Tigers 25-15, 25-19, 25-21 in the first round of play.
"We played a little nervous in the first game," Lybarger said.
"(St. Paul's) is the best I've seen in 5A. They just have so many hitters and they're so versatile."
Fifth-ranked Hartselle (43-24) got 12 kills from Chandler Orr.
The Tigers' Cerra Little added 24 assists.
The Tigers played the final game close trailing 22-21, but the strong Saints ran off the final four points to capture the match.
Class 4A ninth-ranked East Limestone reached the semifinals with a first-round win over seventh-ranked Alabama Christian 25-19, 25-19, 25-20.
The Indians (34-19) fell to top-ranked Jacksonville 25-9, 25-9, 25-21 in the semifinal round.
Rachel Stander led the Indians with 18 kills and three aces, while Emily Brackeen added 10 kills and two blocks against Alabama Christian.
Stander added 10 kills against Jacksonville while Erin Fudge contributed 10 assists.
Class 4A fourth-ranked Lawrence County swept Trinity 25-9, 25-14, 25-19 to advance to the other semifinal, but fifth-ranked Deshler downed the Red Devils 25-9, 19-25, 25-19, 25-18 to halt their advance.
Summer Wilkerson and Nakia McDaniel each had seven kills
to lead the Red Devils against Trinity, while Shae Lane added 14 assists for Lawrence County (53-17).
The Deshler-Lawrence County match was the third meeting of the year between the two and the first win over the Red Devils for Deshler.
Tori Harris led Lawrence County with four kills and nine blocks in the loss.
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