Gulf Shores volleyball set for first state trip since 2011; Bayside Academy, Orange Beach, Spanish Fort extend state streaks

Bayshore Christian, Fairhope to open regional brackets while others play for state seeding

By Cole McNanna
Sports Editor
cole@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 10/20/22

After the first day of the South Super Regional in Montgomery, four of Baldwin County’s teams earned the two wins they needed to advance to the state tournament starting Tuesday, Oct. …

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Gulf Shores volleyball set for first state trip since 2011; Bayside Academy, Orange Beach, Spanish Fort extend state streaks

Bayshore Christian, Fairhope to open regional brackets while others play for state seeding

Posted

After the first day of the South Super Regional in Montgomery, four of Baldwin County’s teams earned the two wins they needed to advance to the state tournament starting Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Spanish Fort and Bayside Academy (Class 6A), as well as both island teams in Gulf Shores (Class 5A) and Orange Beach (Class 4A), were set to determine the top four seeds of their respective classifications Thursday, Oct. 20, with the regional semifinal and finals set for this evening.

Also Thursday, Fairhope (Class 7A) and Bayshore Christian (Class 2A) opened their regional brackets at 10:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., respectively.

On the 6A stage, Spanish Fort earned sweeping victories over Calera and McAdory to be one of the top four teams in the south bracket and earn a semifinal match with the Pelham Panthers today at 2 p.m. The Toros have qualified for the state tournament every season since 2015 and have returned home with three state titles under current head coach Gretchen Boykin.

The Toros were joined by Bayside Academy in sweeping Benjamin Russell and Wetumpka to set up a semifinal date against the Northridge Jaguars, also scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday. The Admirals are one step closer to extending their national-record state championship streak and may end up meeting Spanish Fort again in the regional final if both teams win their semifinal matches.

Gulf Shores was ready for a regional semifinal match against the Area 2 champion Faith Academy Rams Thursday at 12:45 p.m. The Dolphins grabbed 3-0 wins over Demopolis and Jemison to punch their ticket to state.

It will be Gulf Shores’ first trip to state since the 2011 season where the Dolphins won the Class 5A Area 2 Championship over Spanish Fort and ultimately took a No. 2 seed from the regional bracket into the sub-state tournament. There, Gulf Shores beat McAdory in the first round but fell in the elite eight to the eventual state runner-up in Madison County.

Orange Beach went to the state tournament its first two seasons of varsity competition on the Class 2A stage – and fell in last year’s state championship match – and have now continued the streak in its step up to Class 4A. The Makos swept Bibb County and Munford to set up a regional semifinal match against Trinity Presbyterian scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Thursday.

On the other end of the brackets, Fairhope opened its regional tournament Thursday morning with a match against Enterprise, the Area 3 champion. The winner of that match was set to face the victor of the St. Paul’s-Central Phenix City match in the regional semifinal.

In the Class 2A circuit, the Bayshore Christian-Lanett winner is set to draw the victor of the Isabella-Ariton match in the second round of the regional tournament scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The Eagles, last year’s state runners-up in Class 1A, are looking for their third straight state tournament berth.

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