With sweeping victories in the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 6A state volleyball tournament, the Bayside Academy Admirals and Spanish Fort Toros advanced …
With sweeping victories in the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 6A state volleyball tournament, the Bayside Academy Admirals and Spanish Fort Toros advanced to the state semifinal round set for tonight at 6 p.m. in Birmingham.
Bayside Academy beat the Oxford Yellow Jackets 3-0 to set up a meeting with the Mountain Brook Spartans and Spanish Fort took down the Fort Payne Wildcats to draw the Saraland Spartans with a return trip to the state title match on the line. The Admirals and Toros were the last two teams standing in Class 6A last season.
This season, both Bayside Academy and Spanish Fort have split matches with its state semifinal dates where the loss is more recent on the calendar.
The Admirals beat Mountain Brook 3-2 on Sept. 2 before the Spartans earned a 2-0 decision in tournament action on Oct. 14. Similarly, Spanish Fort took down Saraland 2-0 on Oct. 12 but then just fell to the Spartans less than a week ago in the South Super Regional semifinal, 3-1, on Oct. 26.
Bayside Academy and Spanish Fort were not the only Baldwin County teams featured at the AHSAA state volleyball tournament although they are the last ones remaining.
In Class 5A, the Gulf Shores Dolphins fell 3-0 to the Arab Knights and finished 33-13 overall in the first season under head coach Ryan Gravlee. On the Class 2A stage, the Bayshore Christian Eagles lost 3-0 to the Sand Rock Wildcats and closed with a 9-12 overall record.
Quarterfinal recaps via AHSAA
BAYSIDE ACADEMY 3, OXFORD 0
The Admirals (46-9) kept their hopes alive of extending their AHSAA and NFHS national record 21 straight state volleyball championships to 22 with a 3-0 win over Oxford.
Bayside Academy is now just two wins away from another landmark state title. The road is uphill, however, with the victory over Oxford setting up another rematch with North Super Regional champion Mountain Brook at 6 p.m. Tuesday night.
The Admirals beat Oxford in straight sets 25-22, 25-13, 25-19 with setter Blakeley Robbins once again quarterbacking the victory with her precision passes. The Montevallo commit totaled 31 assists, had 12 digs, 4 kills and 2 aces. Haley Robinson and Misty Kate Smith had 11 kills each, and Maysie Douglas had 7 kills and 8 digs.
Oxford (41-16), coached by Wendy McKibbon, was led by Jamea Gaston and Arilyn Pool with 20 digs each. Payton Brooks had 25 assists, Ava Thomas had 11 kills, and Payton Brooks had 8.
SPANISH FORT 3, FORT PAYNE 0
The Toros (61-9), coached by Gretchen Boykin, topped Fort Payne 25-13, 25-20, 25-22 to set up Tuesday night’s semifinal battle with Gulf Coast rival Saraland.
Reece Varden had 12 kills and Taylor Ishmael had 11 thanks in big part to the outstanding play of Spanish Fort setter Alexis Bellamino, a New Orleans commit who had 35 assists and 3 service aces in the win. Libero Delaney Clough had 14 digs and 4 aces, and Caryln McAllister totaled 6 kills, 1 block and 5 digs.
Cooper Garrett’s 16 kills and 13 digs led Fort Payne (38-17), coached by Ashley Kisor. Setter Lydie Varnadoe managed 23 assists, 7 digs and 4 kills, and libero Carley Cash had 21 digs.