Bayside Academy (3A), St. Luke’s Episcopal (2A) and Addison (1A) repeated as Alabama state champions on Thursday. The 4A (St. James) and 5A (Alexandria) winners followed up runner-up finishes, while the 6A (Pelham) and 7A (McGill Toolen) titlists ended extended championship droughts.
7A –McGill Toolen Catholic
McGill Toolen Catholic (46-8) captured its first state title since 2005 with a sweep of Bob Jones as Kenya McQuirter posted a 23 kill, 12-dig double-double and hit .419 in the championship match (25-16, 25-23, 27-25). The Dirty Dozen downed two-time defending champ Mountain Brook in the semifinals (25-16, 25-10, 25-20) after besting Hoover (25-22, 25-20, 25-20) in the quarterfinals.
6A – Pelham
Pelham (41-9) ended a 20-year title drought, knocking off Jasper in extra points in Set 5 for the 6A championship. The Panthers, which were the runner-up in 2014, bested Jasper 25-20, 26-24, 22-25, 25-27, 17-15. Pelham had four match-point tries in set four, but couldn’t close out the win. Emorie Long paced the Panthers with 17 kills, while four other Pelham players notched double-digit efforts. The Panthers rallied to outlast Brewer in five sets in the quarterfinals (23-25, 25-10, 24-26, 25-19, 15-11) and notched a four-set win over Daphne in the semis (16-25, 25-21, 25-19, 27-25).
5A – Alexandria
Alexandria followed last year’s runner-up finish with a championship, notching a 25-23, 25-16, 25-13 sweep of Lawrence Country in the 5A title match. The Valley Cubs got 20 kills from senior Taylor Spradley en route to its first state title since earning back-to-back-to-back championships from 1993 to 1995. Alexandria did not drop a set at the state tournament, sweeping Rehobeth (25-12, 25-8, 25-10) and last year’s champion St. Paul’s (25-13, 25-15, 27-25) to earn the championship berth.
4A – St. James
After two years as the runner-up, the 4A state title belongs to St. James (37-9) in 2017. The Trojans, which lost in the championship match in 2015 and 2016, defeated Deshler 21-25, 25-19, 25-10, 25-19 to earn the blue trophy. Carson Ann Crow notched 21 kills and 16 digs in the title match en route to MVP honors. Emily Osley (29 assists, 12 digs) and Emily Poundstone (21 assists, 11 digs) registered double-doubles. St. James earned its way to the championship match with sweeps of Priceville (25-13, 25-18, 25-19) and Danville (25-15, 25-14, 25-23).
3A – Bayside Academy
Bayside Academy (42-10) continued its legacy of state titles, winning the school’s 16th straight, outlasting Montgomery Academy in five sets for the championship. The Admirals won 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 22-25, 15-13 to secure their record 16th title and 20th in the last 21 seasons. Bayside bested Geraldine (25-13, 21-25, 25-13, 25-12) in the quarterfinals and Carbon Hill (20-25, 25-11, 25-17, 25-18) in the semifinals. Final stats from the championship were unavailable do to a volleyball damaging the scoring computer.
2A – St. Luke’s Episcopal
Mobile’s St. Luke’s Episcopal (34-15) secured its second straight state title with a sweep of Goshen (25-11, 25-12, 25-14) on Thursday. Jada Carney led the way with 14 kills and a .480 hitting percentage for the Wildcats. St. Luke’s swept Ider in the quarterfinals (25-22, 25-16, 25-12) and edged past Altamont 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-11, 25-21) in the semifinals to reach the title match.
1A – Addison
Addison (51-8) won its fifth straight state title, and second straight in the Class 1A ranks, besting Meek in four sets in the championship. The Bulldogs rebounded after dropping the first set 28-26, for the 25-19, 25-19, 25-19 win. The win was Addison’s seventh of the season over Meek, which is located just 10 miles away. On Friday, Addision swept Westminster-Oak Mountain (Birmingham) in the quarterfinals (25-11, 25-7, 25-13) and Athens Bible (25-6, 25-23, 25-11) in the semifinals to set up the championship match.