Three of the area’s best volleyball teams advanced to the championship bracket of the annual Mayor’s Cup, only to wind up on the losing side of a match with perennial power Bayside Academy.
The Admirals, playing in 6A for the first time this season as a result of the Competitive Balance Factor, defeated Trinity in the quarterfinals, Catholic in the semifinals and Montgomery Academy in the finals to win the Mayor’s Cup, which was held at Catholic and Trinity this year as a result of a scheduling conflict with Multiplex’s use by the FCS Kickoff Classic.
In the finals, Montgomery Academy dropped the opening set 25-19, then battled back to win the second set 25-18 to force a third set, won by Bayside 15-11.
Montgomery Academy (10-1) defeated Prattville, Elmore County and Stanhope Elmore earlier in the week, then beat Houston Academy, G.W. Carver, Catholic and LAMP in pool play to win Pool 4.
For the week, Elle McBride had 73 kills and 87 digs, while Isabella Johnson had 53 kills and 19 blocks. Addi Vinson had 213 assists and 70 digs, Parker Shegon had 110 Digs, Jenna Chandler had 71 digs and Avery Arden Pemberton had 56 digs.
Trinity (10-1) swept Wetumpka for the second time in two days, opening play in the Mayor’s Cup with a 2-0 win over the Indians. The Wildcats went on to sweep matches with John Carroll, Brew Tech and Spanish Fort before losing in three sets to Bayside Academy in the quarterfinals of the championship bracket.
For the week, Isabel Hill had 93 digs, 13 aces and 12 assists, Brely Dees passed a 2.24 serve receive rating on 45 balls and added 10 aces, Emma Moody had 57 kills with a .391 hitting percentage and added 14 blocks, Addison Cherry had 163 assists, 28 digs and 18 kills, Reese Patterson had 42 kills with a .234 hitting percentage, five blocks and 22 digs and Holland Williams had 23 kills with a .321 hitting percentage and 13 blocks.
The other two pools were won by St. Paul’s Episcopal and Pelham, which upset Bayside in pool play. Finishing second but also qualifying for the championship bracket were Bayside, Catholic, Spanish Fort and Prattville Christian Academy.
The Panthers (7-7) lost the opener to St. Paul’s Episcopal 25-23, 18-25 and 10-15, then rebounded with sweeps of Prattville (25-12, 25-9), Providence Christian (25-17, 25-20) and Alabama Christian Academy (25-17, 25-19).
PCA advanced to the championship bracket but fell in a hard-fought match to Montgomery Academy 23-25, 25-23 and 13-15. The Eagles went on to beat Spanish Fort in the semifinals to reach the championship match.
For the Panthers, Hannah Jones had 58 kills, 24 digs, five aces, a pair of blocks and 55 serve receptions, Baylee Rogers had 103 assists, three aces, eight digs and four kills, Avery Rogers had 35 digs, four aces, a kill and 45 serve receptions and CoCo Thomas had 11 kills, nine blocks, four digs and an ace.
In addition, Emma Cate Carter had 15 kills, seven aces, a block and 10 digs, Sally Swindall had nine blocks, 14 kills and three digs, Natalee Wheeler had five aces, 12 digs and 16 serve receptions, Brylee Byrd had 17 digs, an assist and 24 serve receptions, LB NeSmith had six blocks, four digs, seven kills and eight serve receptions and Savannah Lamar had an ace and three digs.
The third-place and fourth-place teams in each pool advanced to the consolation bracket.
John Carroll defeated St. James in the quarterfinals and Houston Academy in the semifinals to reach the championship match. Pike Road defeated Wetumpka in the quarterfinals, LAMP in the semifinals and John Carroll in the finals to win the consolation bracket.
In pool play, the Patriots lost to Bayside Academy (23-25, 16-25) before earning a hard-fought, three-set match over St. James (18-25, 27-25, 15-7). Pike Road swept Elmore County 26-24 and 25-16 before falling to Pelham 22-25, 25-20 and 16-18.
In bracket play, Pike Road (6-4) swept Wetumpka (25-20, 25-21) and LAMP (25-22, 25-22) to reach the finals, then beat the Cavaliers 25-20, 18-25 and 15-13).
St. James lost to Pelham in the opening round of pool play, 16-25 and 25-27, then lost the next two matches in three sets, first to Pike Road, then to Bayside 25-23, 12-25 and 11-15. They earned a berth in the consolation bracket by sweeping Elmore County 25-19 and 25-14.
“This tournament provided great competition and a lot of learning opportunities,” St. James coach Karen Lee said. “We saw many other 6A schools who we hope to see again at playoff time. I saw my players gain a great deal of volleyball knowledge throughout the tournament and it helped us see where we are and where we want to be in a couple of months.”
For the Trojans, Ava Card had seven aces, 40 kills, seven blocks, a pair of assists and 51 digs, Kaylin Corley had an ace, 29 kills, a block, three assists and 44 digs, Sana Shuford had a pair of aces, 10 kills, a block and 20 digs, Kiya Jupiter had five aces, 11 kills, two blocks, two assists and 11 digs and Tatiana Shuford had an ace, a kill, a pair of blocks, 86 assists and 28 digs. Sydney Johnston added four kills, an assist and 26 digs, Jordan Wesley had a kill and a block, Brea Ledford had six digs and Molli Pickett had three kills, a pair of blocks and a dig.
Brew Tech was one of the four teams in pool play that failed to earn a win and advance to bracket play, but the Rams gained plenty of valuable experience in the tournament.
The Rams (2-4) lost to Spanish Fort, Trinity, Wetumpka and John Carroll and will return to action in a tri-match at Beauregard on Wednesday. In the Mayor’s Cup, Berkeley Wright had 11 kills, Jadyn McGhee had eight kills, Camryn Foshee had 17 assists and Jen Nguyen had 20 digs.
Montgomery Academy will return to the court on Tuesday at Alabama Christian, while Trinity will face Northridge and Vestavia Hills in a tri-match at Northridge on Tuesday before traveling to Auburn on Thursday and to Guntersville for the Supreme Courts Tournament this weekend. PCA will face Catholic and Sidney Lanier in a tri-match at home on Tuesday before playing at Jeff Davis on Thursday and traveling to Guntersville for the weekend tournament. St. James (3-6) will play host to Prattville on Tuesday before opening area play at home against Pike Road on Thursday. The Trojans will travel to Dora this weekend to compete in the Corner High School Classic Tournament.