After they both swept Springville 2-0, Jacksonville and Guntersville put on a show only the top two 4A teams in the AL.com rankings could.
“We’re a heated rivalry but a good one,” Jacksonville head coach David Clark said. “It’s always a good match. There are no ill feelings about it. It’s not an ugly rivalry. It’s good one. I think we both bring the best out of each other.”
Jacksonville dominated the first set easily winning it 25-21. The Golden Eagles never trailed in that set. They used long runs to pull away, while Guntersville struggled to put together back-to-back points.
The second set was much tighter. The Golden Eagles and the Lady Cats traded the lead 11 times before Guntersville pulled away and sealed a 25-20 victory.
Guntersville head coach Jimmy Latta said the Lady Cats had to settle down between the first and second set.
“They came out and hit us in the mouth with serves,” he said. “I just told them we didn’t spend an hour and a half yesterday serving and receiving to come in here and shank balls all over the place.”
The final set was as tough as the second. Jacksonville got out to an 8-5 lead. Guntersville came storming back with seven unanswered points to make it 13-8. Jacksonville was able to salvage one more point before Guntersville put the set away 15-9.
“Anytime Guntersville and Jacksonville tees off, it’s a battle,” Latta said. “It’s a fun rivalry. It’s a clean rivalry. For us to come in here in this hostile environment, which was a sportsmanship-type environment, is what it’s all about.”
Katie Stallings led Jacksonville (18-9) with 12 kills, while Ashley Clingan had 17 assists and Ariel Diaz managed seven digs. The Golden Eagles return to action at home against Cherokee County on Thursday.
For the Lady Cats, Anna Wright had 13 kills, Morgan Gaston 17 digs and Alex Gamble 36 assists. Guntersville (27-16) plays again at home Thursday against Addison.
Pleasant Valley 2, Oxford 0; Pleasant Valley 2, Etowah 1; Oxford 2, Etowah 0 – At Oxford, 2A Pleasant Valley tuned up for Saturday’s Calhoun County volleyball tournament by sweeping a tri-match with 6A Oxford and 5A Etowah.
The Raiders defeated Oxford 25-18, 25-19 and bested the Blue Devils 26-28, 25-16, 15-5. Kaylee Benefield had 12 kills, Taylor Cochran 10 kills and Jordan Moorer nine kills to lead the attack. Setter Bailey Turner recorded 46 assists. Libero Anna Bryant had 34 digs.
The Yellow Jackets scored a win over Etowah 25-15, 25-23.
Breanna Nolan had nine kills, 10 digs and two aces for Oxford (19-13), while Lexie Higgins added seven kills and 12 digs. Deja Owens contributed seven kills and four digs.
Donoho 2, Cedar Bluff 0; Donoho 2, Alexandria 1 -- Donoho defeated Cedar Bluff 25-14, 25-11 and Alexandria 19-25, 25-14, 15-9 to improve to 23-4.
Rylee Segrest had 46 assists and 17 digs, while Corey Phillis added 18 kills, 26 digs and four blocks. Hannah Christian added 11 kills and six blocks, while Anna Marie Woodfin contributed five aces and seven digs.
Donoho will play again Thursday at home against Pleasant Valley and Ohatchee.
Piedmont 2, Ranburne 0; Piedmont 2, Ranburne 0 – Piedmont defeated Ranburne twice, winning the opener 25-15, 25-20 and the second contest 25-14, 25-22.
Cherish Boswell led Piedmont (13-19) with 12 kills, while Lulu Jackson contributed 10 aces. Mallory Roberts and Kayla Ray each had eight assists.
Piedmont will play Saks at home Thursday.
Saks 3, Weaver 0 -- Saks won a Class 3A, Area 10 showdown by defeating Weaver 25-19, 25-18, 25-20.
Taylor Teague had seven aces, six kills and nine digs, while Baylee Snider added seven kills. Jordan Briskey contributed three aces, eight kills and seven digs, and D'Talya Lewis had six kills and four blocks.
Saks (14-10, 4-1) will play its final Area 10 match Thursday at Piedmont.