At Fairview Gymnasium:
Arab 25 25
Fairview 19 14
Arab (25-4) wins match 2-0
Time of match: 0:37
FLASH NOTES: Effort was there Thursday for the Fairview Lady Aggies, but West Point, then Arab, found a way to be productive, handing the Lady Aggies two close setbacks in a tri-match confrontation.
Fairview was playing with a key member in Micah Means. Means sustained a foot injury in a match on September 20 against Holly Pond and has missed a week of assignments.
Means is scheduled for a doctor's visit on Tuesday, hoping to be in position to return as soon as possible for the No. 3 team currently in Class 4A.
Facing Arab, who was upset by West Point, Fairview gave them everything early with the opening set tied at 6-6. Kills by Daisy Manasco and Tess Bailey, service points from Anna Scott, Alivia Boyll provided coach Tracy Means' unit balance.
But Arab started to utilize 6'3" middle hitter AK Griggs and also took advantage of opportunities.
The Lady Knights raised the score to 18-11 on an ace by Jodi Drain. But Fairview was able to calm down, make some plays and cut the deficit to 20-16.
Bailey had a kill, then a service ace with the left hander being difficult for Arab to contain.
However, Arab regrouped as a volley by Griggs, then two service points from her, pushed the margin to 23-17.
Fairview stopped them briefly when Griggs served the ball out of bounds and a service winner by Sophi Hardman cut it to 24-19.
Arab took the opener on a kill from Alexis Hyatt while receiving the serve from Hardman.
The second set was again a good beginning for the Lady Aggies, prior to Arab grabbing the lead at 7-6.
Boyll, Bailey, Katie Ball, Manasco, Isabella McGukin did everything to try to stay toe to toe with the strong Lady Knights.
Griggs was dominating the middle on kills and blocks, getting help by service points from Erin Hudgins that gave the visitors a comfortable lead.
Kills by Bailey and Manasco were helpful for the Lady Aggies, but not enough with Drain converting a serve at 7:17 p.m. to complete the sweep.
Up next for Fairview: Tri-match at Good Hope Tuesday 4:00
Photo 1: Isabella McGukin (22), Daisy Manasco (25), Alivia Boyll (11) of Fairview.
Photo 2: Behind the Fairview bench with Katie Ball (2), Tess Bailey (13) and Daisy Manasco waiting for Arab to serve.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Tri-match at Fairview Gymnasium:
Vinemont 14 11
Fairview 25 25
Fairview (3-1) wins match 2-0
Time of Match: 0:37
Cold Springs 25 25
Vinemont 17 21
Cold Springs (1-0) wins match 2-0
Time of Match: 0:43
Cold Springs 19 22
Fairview 25 25
Fairview (4-1) wins match 2-0
Time of Match: 0:43
FLASH NOTES: Like the outside temperature, Fairview was sizzling on opening day of the 2018 AHSAA volleyball regular season.
The Lady Aggies started out in a fury against Vinemont, grabbing a 7-0 lead after six consecutive points by Micah Means. But Vinemont was able to settle down and get back into contention, cutting the deficit to 12-9 on a kill from Rachel Hall.
Service points in the next rotation from Means enabled Fairview to raise the margi to 19-13. Fairview finished off the first set with four consecutive points on serve by Anna Scott in getting out to a 1-0 advantage in the series.
Coach Tracy Means' Lady Aggies wasted little time of taking to the lead and building on it. Alivia Boyll tallied three straight service points and a kill by Isabella McGukin made it 11-3.
Vinemont tried to make a run, using some good play at the net from Liv Johnson who had a couple of kills in the set, but it was not enough.
Back to back kills by Boyll pushed the margin to 22-11, then Daisy Manasco got a kill and Boyll finished the match with a pair of service points.
Cold Springs stepped on the floor to face Vinemont and got off to a fast start in the first set, grabbing a 15-7 lead. But Vinemont showed patience as Maddie Oliver, Johnson, Taylor McClure, Hall and Mikayla Golden did what was needed by coach Lance Lay to whittle the margin to 22-16.
The momentum got broken by Cold Springs on a block at the net from Emma Chambers that raised the lead to 23-16. Jessi Pulliam closed out the opening set with a point from the service line.
Cold Springs was again leading early as Vinemont fought back from 13-8 and got the score tied at 14-14 on a service point by Johnson. Johnson scored three in a row after she had a kill to give her team a boost.
Cold Springs broke the tied and used four consecutive kills by Anna Kate Voce off service points from Kylon Hamby and the Lady Eagles turned back a determined Vinemont squad.
Emi Harbison had several assists in crunch time and steady play at the net by Aubrey Negron and Hayden Goodwin, with Cold Springs now in a good mood momentum wise and ready to go to battle with Fairview.
Fairview established the early advantage, opening up a 15-7 margin. Cold Springs struck back in an aggressive run, trimming the score to 20-17 when Harbison scored for her team on a net block.
But a couple of errors from Cold Springs and consecutive service points by Fairview's Katie Ball allowed the Lady Aggies to earn a hard fought win in the opening set.
The second set was similar. Fairview would jump out to a 16-8 cushion on a kill by Daisy Manasco. But Brendan Voce's Lady Eagles showed poise and fought off several opportunities by the Lady Aggies to close out the match.
Voce converted back to back serves with Emma Chambers getting a volley for a point and it was 24-22.
Then Fairview ended the run for the Lady Aggies in returning Voce's serve to the net with Micah Means finishing it off with her lone kill in the game.
Team play was well displayed by the Lady Aggies during the afternoon with Means, Manasco, Boyll, Tess Bailey, McGukin, Scott and Sarah Bryan.
Fairview was coming off a 2-1 trip to the Brewer Invitational, defeating Austin and Athens Bible and falling in a close match to Deshler.
Cold Springs brought in good credentials with a No. 10 preseason ranking in Class 2A by the state sportswriters.
Vinemont is an experienced team for coach Lay, with Oliver, Hall, Stanley and Golden back from 2017 and very mature.
Up next for Fairview: At Sardis Thursday
Up next for Cold Springs: At St. Bernard Thursday
Up next for Vinemont: Tri-match at Good Hope Thursday
Photo 1: Fairview's Micah Means, Daisy Manasco in the background.
Photo 2: Vinemont's Rachel Hall (left), Taylor McClure defending against Fairview.
Photo 3: Cold Springs' Aubrey Negron with a kill against Fairview Tuesday.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Coach: George Redding
Record at Fairview: 65-51 (12th year)
2017 record: 2-7 (0-6 in 5A, R 6)
2018: Fairview is in 4A, R 7 with DAR, St. John Paul, West Morgan, Priceville, North Jackson, Randolph, Danville.
Key personnel returning: QB Dayne Black, RB/LB Mason Black, LB Tyvn Ellis, WR Donte Dumas, NG Alex Medina, CB Eric Speegle, NG Jared Bachelor.
2018 schedule: Aug. 23 - @ West Point, Aug. 31 - Hanceville, Sept. 7 - DAR, Sept. 14 - @ St. John Paul, Sept. 21 - Priceville, Oct. 5 - @ North Jackson, Oct. 12 - @ West Morgan, Oct. 19 - Randolph, Oct. 26 - @ Danville, Nov. 2 - Holly Pond.
Outlook: Youth is the issue Redding is dealing with this year. Fairview dropped down from 5A back to 4A and is locked in a region with strong opponents like North Jackson, West Morgan, while other teams such as DAR, Priceville, St. John Paul, Randolph and Danville are trying to move up from what they experienced in their respective region last season.
The Aggies will have experience at a key position in 2nd year starting QB Dayne Black. Black is the only left hander that starts in the county system. His key will be to recognize defensive sets and put the Aggies in a position to go downfield and on into the end zone.
Fairview held its Fan Day Saturday at Dafford Smith Stadium. They signed autographs as did the cheerleaders, then went on to the field for contact work.
The spirit was high around noon with the Aggies focusing on a good day in full pads, overcoming 90 degree weather and sunny skies.
Outside the region, Fairview plays three teams from the county. The Aggies and West Point meet on opening night for the first time since the 1983 season.
Hanceville is back on the Fairview schedule, with the Bulldogs visiting on the final Friday in the Fairview home opener.
Seven straight regional games will follow. The Aggies have DAR visiting on September, meet St. John Paul in Huntsville the 14th and finish the month with a game the 21st on the home turf against Priceville.
Opening play in October will be pivotal with the Aggies at North Jackson the 5th and on to West Morgan the 12th. A regional game will be at home the 19th with Randolph, followed by a trip into Danville the 26th to close out the regional schedule.
Fairview has Holly Pond at home Nov. 2 to end the regular season.
Redding is the wininingest coach in Fairview history, passing his mentor Dafford Smith last year. Redding is the most tenured coach currently in Cullman County at 12 seasons.
Sportspage photos from Fairview Fan Day (August 11) by Johnny Thornton
Fairview 7 on 7 series
At Dafford Smith Stadium:
RESULTS COVERED BY SPORTSPAGE:
Vinemont 18, Fairview 16
Falkville 25, Good Hope 23
Falkville 17, Vinemont 10
Good Hope 43, Douglas 0
Good Hope 18, Fairview 15
Vinemont 27, Douglas 9
Falkville 28, Fairview 0
Vinemont 19, Good Hope 9
RECORDS ON THE DAY:
Falkville 4-0, Good Hope 2-2, Vinemont 3-1, Fairview 1-3, Douglas 0-4.
Taking advantage of the opportunity to go through a 7 on 7 session, Fairview hosted Friday morning. The purpose was to work on all phases of the passing game. Winning was not the primary concern, but it made everyone feel better when they compiled more points than on the other side of the scoreboard.
Falkville, a playoff team in Class 2A in 2017, clicked in throwing the ball, led by experienced QB Aaron Dove and a core of pass catchers.
Vinemont excelled in both phases, with the defense having its share of success. The Eagles intercepted a Fairview pass on the first play from scrimmage, then came up with a game winner on the last snap, stealing a pass in the end zone that gave the Eagles three points in the scoring format to edge Fairview 18-16.
Junior Jack Hill responded throughout the assignments with good throws to primary targets, Teague Whatley and Nate England. Hill was able to launch the deep ball numerous times and did what coach Stephen Robinson expressed, take what the defense gives you.
Vinemont concluded the agenda with a TD pass from Hill to England on the last snap of the game vs. Good Hope, creating a 10-point triumph vs. their county foe.
Bailey Quick of Good Hope looked good among the signal-callers. Quick had a strong arm to fire many throws deep, with most going to Preston Bagwell and some to Matt Dixon from his running back position.
Quick threw for three touchdowns in the romp of Douglas, while reserve QB Tanner Malin came in and pitched two scoring strikes. The 43-0 victory was the widest margin in all games that took place Friday.
Fairview has Dayne Black returning for his second season to lead the Aggie offense. The left hander mixed in short throws and worked on deep routes. A TD on the final possession for the Aggies against Good Hope was a good accomplishment in working the field against a cover two defense and the clock running.
The event wrapped up before lunch time under humid conditions.
No passing camps will be allowed next week due to the AHSAA All-Star Sports Week in Montgomery. All teams can go through conditioning next week as they continue to count down the time until August 6, when they will be allowed to practice for the first time in the fall.
Good Hope is scheduled to host a 7 on 7 on July 24.
Photo 1: Vinemont's Jack Hill directing his receivers in game vs. Fairview.
Photo 2: Bailey Quick of Good Hope seeks an open receiver vs. Falkville.
Photo 3: Fairview Aggies huddle up in game with Vinemont.
Photo 4: Falkville QB Aaron Dove throws it downfield vs. Good Hope.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton