Area teas advance to 1A, 5A State Volleyball Championships

Covenant Christian, Arab, Westminster advance to Championships
Arab junior Laney Kelley (3) celebrates after a block against Montgomery Academy. The Knights...
Arab junior Laney Kelley (3) celebrates after a block against Montgomery Academy. The Knights will play defending Champion Westminster Christian Academy Wednesday at 10 AM at Bill Harris Arena in Birmingham.(WAFF)
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 9:19 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Arab High School toppled Montgomery Academy in one semifinal game Tuesday, and Westminster Christian beat Gulf Shores in the other semifinal as both teams advance to the 52nd annual AHSAA Elite 8 Class 5A State Volleyball Championship game, which will be played at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Bill Harris Arena adjacent to the Birmingham CrossPlex.    

In Class 1A, Addison and Covenant Christian posted semifinal victories over Spring Garden and Meek, respectively, Tuesday to advance to Wednesday’s Class 1A championship game at 12:30 p.m.   

The Class 2A and Class 4A finals were set Tuesday. Two schools from Calhoun County, Donoho and Pleasant Valley, emerged with semifinal wins over G.W. Long and Bayshore Christian, respectively. The two rivals will meet in the 2A finals at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. And in Class 4A, a rematch between last year’s Class 3A finalists came to fruition when Montgomery Catholic downed Orange Beach and Trinity Presbyterian beat Deshler. That final, set for 4:30 p.m., will also set up a husband-wife final for the second straight year. Sarah Dubberley is the Trinity head coach, and her husband Sellers Dubberley coaches Catholic.    

Class 3A, 6A and 7A open play Wednesday at the CrossPlex with those finals set for Bill Harris Arena Thursday.



The Wildcats (46-9), last year’s Class 4A state champs, earned the chance for a repeat, albeit in Class 5A this year. The powerful front line of Coach Holly Richards dominated the semifinal straight-set 25-19, 25-13, 25-17 win over Gulf Shores.    

Calli Tanielu totaled 18 kills and Meg Paparella had 15 to lead Westminster. The duo also combined for seven blocked shots, 24 digs and five service aces. Setter Paislee Shelton dished out 37 assists and had eight digs, and libero Rylee Sexton had 16 digs.   

Gulf Shores (39-18), coached by Karen Atkins, was led by Lily Zlab with 13 kills and eight blocks. Julia Fisher added five kills and five blocks, and Macey Moore also had an outstanding game at setter.


The Knights (49-13) advanced to the state finals with the 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23 win over Montgomery Academy Tuesday at the CrossPlex. Laney Kelley and Karli Walker had 15 and 13 kills, respectively, for Arab, coached by Amy Hudson.   

Sami Kate Hudson had 19 digs and eight kills, Sydney Ferguson added six digs and eight kills, and setter Anna McFerrin had 42 assists, two aces and six digs. Libero Marisa Pope managed 21 digs.   

Caroline McDaniel had 22 kills and 12 digs to lead Montgomery Academy (44-7), coached by Julie Gordon. Elle McBride also had 12 kills, libero Parker Shegon totaled 29 digs and setter Addi Vinson had 46 assists, 18 digs and a team-high four blocks.



The Eagles (35-18) of Coach Allyson Estave won a hard-fought 21-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-21) semifinal match over Meek to advanced to Wednesday’s state finals.   

Ashlee Gann had 29 kills to lead Covenant Christian. Ella Estave added 13 digs and Zoe Griffin had nine kills.    Meek finished its season 21-24.