With junior Georgia McInnis’ kill in the fifth set of the Class 6A state championship game, the Bayside Academy Admirals vanquished the Spanish Fort Toros to extend their national-record state …
With junior Georgia McInnis’ kill in the fifth set of the Class 6A state championship game, the Bayside Academy Admirals vanquished the Spanish Fort Toros to extend their national-record state championship streak to 21 straight titles in Birmingham Thursday afternoon, 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-11, 15-12).
The fifth meeting this season between the Area 2 representatives from Baldwin County was yet another five-set marathon but it was toward the end of the fourth when Bayside Academy built some steam.
A 9-0 run from the Admirals took a lead and ballooned it to 15-8 before another 7-0 run gave Bayside Academy a 25-11 decision heading into a decisive fifth set. There, a 5-0 run helped the Admirals stake claim to a lead they would not relinquish at 9-7. Spanish Fort remained within a point or two until the Toros had their backs against the wall facing elimination at 14-10.
While Spanish Fort won the next two points, Bayside Academy settled the possession after a sideline save by the Toros, worked it from Mia Bindon to Blakeley Robbins who set it up for McInnis’ spike that made the Admirals the first team in the Alabama High School Athletic Association to win a state championship in six different classifications.
The title serves as Bayside Academy’s 31st volleyball state title, which also extended the program’s national record. The 21-championship streak that started in Class 2A also reaches a new classification and the Admirals are still the only AHSAA program to win state titles all the years they played in Class 3A (10), Class 4A (2), Class 5A (2) and now Class 6A.
The All-State Tournament team included Haley Robinson and Misty Kate Smith from Bayside Academy and Alexis Belarmino, Bailey Hope and Reese Varden from Spanish Fort. Admiral junior Blakeley Robbins was named State Tournament MVP.
Robbins finished with 57 assists, 11 digs, 4 aces and 4 kills to pace the offense in the championship match. Robinson (19 kills, 1 dig), Smith (14 kills, 15 digs, 1 ace), Maysie Douglas (13 kills, 1 dig) and McInnis (11 kills, 2 digs, 1 assist) all registered double-digit kills while Mary Katherine Whitehurst (34 digs, 2 aces, 2 assists) and Grier Broughton (21 digs, 3 kills, 2 aces, 1 assist) led defensively.
On the other side of the net, the all-tournament team trio of Varden (21 kills, 1 dig), Hope (27 digs, 8 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace) and Belarmino (45 assists, 17 digs, 2 kills, 2 aces) all provided sizeable contributions.
In addition, Mary Madison Lyles collected 35 digs, 7 kills and 1 ace, Elyse McKinney recorded 8 digs, 6 kills, 3 assists and 2 aces, Delaney Clough registered 21 digs, 2 assists and 1 kill and Taylor Ishmael finished with seven kills.