“Any time you can come in, go to somewhere and go 2-0 and beat two pretty good teams, you’ve got to be successful,” Spring Garden head coach Ben Carroll said. “We had some good spurts at times, and we had some bad spurts. Overall, I think we put two good matches together.”
The Lady Panthers (30-15) started by defeating Sacred Heart 25-20 in the closely contested first set. The second set ended 25-14. Long runs doomed the Cardinals. Spring Garden managed a 6-0 and 7-0 run in the same set.
Spring Garden’s match against Saks got off to a rocky start. The Wildcats (20-13) jumped out to a 6-1 lead. That prompted coach Carroll called a timeout.
“I just told them to stay calm,” Carroll said. “We knew they were a good team coming in. I just told them to relax. Just do what we’re supposed to do.”
The Lady Panthers came back out of that timeout with a 13-0 run. That run gave them the lead and they never let it go as they cruised to a 25-19 victory.
The second set was much closer in the beginning. With Spring garden leading 10-9, the Lady Panthers went on an 8-1 run that put the set out of Wildcat reach. Spring Garden won it 25-18.
Haley Motes led Spring Garden with 15 kills, 13 digs and eight aces. Darby Bryant contributed 16 assists, and McKenzie Micha had 17 assists.
The Lady Panthers return to action Monday for the Class 1A, Area 13 tournament.
Despite being swept by Spring Garden, Saks managed a sweep of its own. The Wildcats took the first set against Sacred Heart 25-10. The Cardinals led 5-1 in the second set. This time, it was Saks leading the come from behind victory. Saks took the set 25-12.
Saks’ head coach Randy law said he was “real proud” of his girls for rebounding after a tough loss with a sweep.
“I didn’t feel like we stepped up to the challenge that first game,” he said. “Spring Garden took it to us. But we came back and played better.”
D’Talya Lewis with 15 kills led the Wildcats. Taylor Teague added 18 digs. Saks will host Ranburne and Cleburne County on Thursday.
Sacred Heart head coach Robin Coplin believes once the Cardinals stop making “youth mistakes” they will be ready to compete again.
The Cardinals were led by Zanieb Sanusi with 10 kills, Kristen Rothwell with 10 kills, Olivia Simmons with eight blocks and Anna Kerper with 19 assists. They return to action Thursday against Anniston at home.
Jacksonville 2, Pleasant Valley 0; Jacksonville 2, West End 0; Pleasant Valley 2, West End 1 -- Blessing Dunn had 20 kills, six digs and five blocks to help Jacksonville beat Pleasant Valley 25-11, 25-22 and West End 25-18, 25-16. Katie Neisler added 11 kills, three aces and seven digs.
Ashley Clingan had 20 assists, and Courtney Bowden added 12 for Jacksonville (29-9), which will play in a tournament at Homewood on Friday and Saturday.
Pleasant Valley beat West End 29-27, 20-25, 15-12. Taylor Cochran led the Raiders in their two matches with 12 kills. Kaylee Benefield had 10 kills and three blocks for Pleasant Valley. Setter Bailey Turner finished with 30 assists. Libero Anna Bryant had 26 digs and three aces.
Ohatchee 3, Piedmont 1 -- Senior Joria Steger led Ohatchee with 10 kills, while senior Mersady Williams added seven kills. Silver Miller contributed six kills on a night in which Ohatchee honored its senior class.
Senior Kaelin Cobb had 12 digs as the team libero, and Mattie Coger recorded 26 assists.
Ohatchee (21-11) will travel to Faith Christian on Thursday for a tri-match with Faith Christian and Weaver.