Bearcat Volleyball Invitational
At Cullman High School:
FLASH NOTES: Two gymnasiums on the campus of Cullman High School and one at Cullman Middle School were active Saturday in the final day for regular season volleyball in the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA).
Eighteen teams got together for the Bearcat Invitational, two days before postseason play for 2018 begins.
Saturday was certainly a process for a tuneup before the area tournaments were to be held. Class 2A, 3A, 5A and 6A take to the floor Monday, while 1A, 4A and 7A will play on Tuesday. The area winner and runner-up move on to the Super Regional, with the North to be played next weekend in Huntsville and the South to go to Montgomery.
After falling in the Cullman County championship last Tuesday to Fairview, West Point was back in a groove. The Lady Warriors went to Walker County on Thursday and swept Winfield and Curry.
On Saturday, the Lady Warriors came out on top in Pool C, defeating Madison County two to one, sweeping Central Florence and St. John Paul two games to none.
That gave them a boost heading the 5A, Area 14 Tournament at Moulton Monday. West Point meets Russellville in the semifinal round at 5:15 p.m. The winner qualifies for the Super Regional, and also gets to play in the championship at 6:30 p.m.
Regina Jones' Lady Warriors have established a single season record of 42 wins against just six losses going into the tournament segment of the Bearcat Invitational.
No. 1 ranked Addison from Class 2A was also a participant. The Lady Bulldogs went 3-0 in pool play, including a breath taking 2 to 1 triumph against Cullman. Addison lost 25-19 in the opening set, then won the next two games, 27-25 and 15-12, running their season record to 43-10.
Addison has the 2A, Area 13 Tournament Monday at home. Addison and Sulligent play at 4:00 with the winner to take on Winston County or Tharptown for the title at 7:00 p.m.
Cullman's day in Pool A started with a sweep of Decatur Heritage. Then the Lady Bearcats went into tiebreaking sets, but fell 2-1 to Austin and 2-1 to Addison.
Never the less, it was what coach Meghan Cagle needed for her squad, 19-21 overall to set themselves up in the 6A, Area 14 Tournament Monday in Hartselle. A win over Decatur at 4:30, gives them a trip to the Super Regional. The winner of this battle plays No. 1 seed Hartselle at approximately 6:00 p.m.
While West Point, along with Addison and Holly Pond played in Cullman, county tournament champion Fairview went to the Tournament of Champions at Lawrence County.
In pool play, Fairview swept Belgreen, but lost two to one against Athens, then had a late afternoon assignment against Lawrence County.
The Lady Aggies will host the 4A, Area 11 Tournament Tuesday, playing Ashville at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday. The winner will meet Good Hope or Oneonta for the championship at 6:00 p.m. Fairview was 47-13 entering the Lawrence County match.
Cold Springs (31-9) hosts the 2A, Area 12 Tournament Monday. The Lady Eagles play Cleveland at 4:00 p.m. with the winner to meet West End or Southeastern for the championship at 7:00 p.m.
Vinemont is the site for Class 3A, Area 13 on Monday. Holly Pond and East Lawrence battle at 4:30 with the winner to take on Vinemont at 5:45 p.m. Vinemont is 20-19, having its best season in years and hosting an area for the first time in quite a while.
The area tournament is the best of five in semifinal and championship play.
Photo 1: Cullman coach Meghan Cagle watches her team play Austin Saturday.
Photo 2: Cullman back row waiting for serve in the match against Austin.
Photo 3: West Point Lady Warriors very happy prior to match with Central Florence.
Photo 4: L-R, Sarah Chapman, Mackenzie Carter, Natalie Pearce of West Point.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton