At Fazi/Richard Athletic Center:
Whitesburg Chr 12 16 14
St. Bernard 25 25 25
St. Bernard (5-9) wins match 3-0
Time of match: 1:03
FLASH NOTES: All of a sudden, home court has served well for the St. Bernard Lady Saints.
Coach Tiffany Hinkle-Pope's squad has rolled off four consecutive victories at the Fazi-Richard Athletic Center, getting their overall home record on the 2018 schedule to 5-5, with one game left in regular season play.
St. Bernard has bounced back from an 0-6 start, winning five of its last nine decisions. A healthy squad has been the key for the turnaround.
Against Whitesburg Christian, the Lady Saints had Emma Tafazoli back after missing early in the week with a back injury.
Macy Whaley, who was out for a couple of weeks, is returned to good health, as they set the tone for the squad to sweep the Lady Warriors for the second time this season.
Whitesburg was up 3-0 quickly when the first set began. Then a kill by Tafazoli, followed by a service winner from Bridget Gallegos, another kill by Tafazoli and Tafazoli with four straight service points, the Lady Saints went in front at 7-4 and would stay there for the rest of the game.
Olivia Brown had two serves, one an ace, pushing the lead to 12-6. Yessenia Pascual followed Brown's serving by tallying four straight, two aces, with the advantage growing to 18-9.
After a service break by Whitesburg, St. Bernard regained serve as aces down the stretch from Gallegos and Tafazoli, plus a kill from Whaley, closed out game 25-12.
St. Bernard was never behind in the second set, quickly ahead 5-1 from three service points by Gallegos and a volley point by Riley Holmes.
A 15-7 advantage for the home team, all of a sudden became a contest with Whitesburg getting hot in serving and taking advantage of opportunities. The Lady Warriors drew within a point at 15-14.
Holmes converted on a volley return to make it 16-14. Tafazoli accounted for three straight points, Brown converted a kill, then three service winners from Gabrielle Bennett took care of game two 25-16.
Determined to extend the match, Whitesburg had the Lady Saints down 11-7 when coach Pope called for a time out.
Whaley and Brown were the mainstay in getting the squad to tie the score at 11-11, a block from Claudia Fallin sent them in front 12-11.
Whaley's serve became accurate, plus the play of Tafazoli and Pascual lifted them to a 20-13 spread.
After Whitesburg served it out of bounds to make the score 21-16, Gallegos was back at the service area and finished off the Lady Warriors with four straight service points.
The match ended at 5:33 p.m., taking an hour and three minutes to be played.
Up next for St. Bernard: Vs. Athens Bible October 11 5:30 p.m.
Photo 1: Lady Saints are all smiles during a time out in 1st set Thursday.
Photo 2: #13 is Olivia Brown, #10 Bridget Gallegos serves for St. Bernard
Photo 3: Bridget Gallegos puts a serve over for St. Bernard vs. Whitesburg.
Photo 4: #9 Yessenia Pascual gets set to serve for the Lady Saints.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton.
St. Bernard Prep Volleyball Invitational
At Fazi-Richard Athletic Center:
St. Bernard over Jefferson Christian 25-22, 25-12
Cold Springs over Holy Family 25-6, 25-10
Vinemont over St. Bernard 25-6, 25-8
Holy Family over Jefferson Christian 25-20, 25-21
Cold Springs over Vinemont (Winner's bracket) 25-20, 25-19
Holy Family over St. Bernard 25-20, 25-16
Vinemont over Holy Family (Semifinal) 25-16, 25-14
Cold Springs over Vinemont (Championship) 25-20, 24-26, 15-11
FLASH NOTES: Local teams flexed their muscles against Birmingham area schools Saturday, despite Holy Family knocking host St. Bernard out of the tournament in a quarterfinal assignment.
Every thing was a sweep by the winner, until the championship, when Vinemont stood toe to toe with Cold Springs, forcing the only tiebreaking set all day.
Facing Vinemont for the third time in three days, Cold Springs had to work hard to fight off the challenge.
In the first set, Cold Springs broke a 16-16 tie on service points from Kylon Hamby and stayed in front for the rest of the game.
Emily Williams and Emi Harbison got some clutch serves down the stretch with the set ending on a kill by Anna Kate Voce. The 25-20 win in the opening set lasted 25 minutes.
Vinemont was able to keep it close in the second set and fight off match point.
Down 24-22, Vinemont used strong serves by Mikayla Golden that carried them into the lead and on to victory. An ace by Golden claimed a 26-24 triumph, with the title bout to enter the tiebreaker stage.
Service points from Harbison, Voce, Williams sent Cold Springs to an 8-3 advantage. Back came Vinemont in pulling within 10-7 on a kill from Liv Johnson.
After a service break, Kinley Campbell went to serve for Cold Springs and tallied a pair that made it 13-8.
A kill from Golden, then service winners by Johnson brought Vinemont on the verge at 13-11. But a kill by Emma Chambers upped the Cold Springs lead to 14-11.
Chambers then finished the set with a kill on Harbison's serve as the match was played in an hour and five minutes.
The victory enabled coach Brendan Voce's Lady Eagles to finish off a challenging week, in which they lost three times to ranked opponents that knocked them out of the current Top 10 rankings in 2A.
Cold Springs was 5-3 for the week and is 12-6 overall.
Vinemont has made great strides from the start of the season to the current time. Lance Lay's Lady Eagles split 10 assignments from the week, going 2-2 on Saturday at St. Bernard.
Vinemont is 8-10 after the weekend.
St. Bernard got its first win of the season for coach Tiffany Hinkle-Pope, by the triumph against Jefferson Christian, snapping a 5-game losing streak.
The Lady Saints had to play the weekend without Macy Whaley, who suffered an arm injury earlier in the week.
Up next for St. Bernard: Vs. Jefferson Christian Monday 5:30 p.m.
Up next for Cold Springs: Tri-match at West End Monday 4:30 p.m.
Up next for Vinemont: Tri-match vs. Cordova, Whitesburg Academy Monday 4:00
Photo 1: Cold Springs Lady Eagles, St. Bernard Invitational champions.
Photo 2: Vinemont's Liv Johnson waiting to serve in finals vs. Cold Springs.
Photo 3: Cold Springs' Aubrey Negron (25) goes high to block the ball. #20 is Hayden Goodwin, #12 is Emi Harbison.
Photo 4: St. Bernard coach Tiffany Hinkle-Pope with an aid on the sidelines.
Photo 5: St. Bernard waiting to receive the ball from Holy Family Saturday.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
AHSAA Class 1A/3A Soccer 1st round playoff
At St. Bernard Stadium:
Elkmont 1 0 - 1 (7-10-1)
St. Bernard 1 2 - 3 (12-6-1)
Elkmont: Goal @ 36:00 (1st)
St. Bernard: Goal by Michael Bain Clemmons @ 19:48 (1st)
St. Bernard: Goal by John Christian Rose @ 10:47 (2nd)
St. Bernard: Goal by Jose Zatarian @ 8:52 (2nd)
SHOTS ON GOAL: Elkmont 21, St. Bernard 17
FLASH NOTES: Corner kicks turned out to be something St. Bernard like in the second half. Of the seven shots they had on Elkmont's goal, five came from the corner, with two going into the net in a span of less than 2:00.
St. Bernard spent much of the first half on the down side, trailing 1-0 after Elkmont scored on a breakaway four minutes after the match started.
It remained 1-0 for the Red Devils until a direct kick with 19:48 showing was good by Michael Bain Clemmons to get the scored tied.
It was 1-1 when the match reached halftime as St. Bernard would outshoot Elkmont 10-8 in the opening 40 minutes.
But for the beginning of the second half, the Red Devils put the pressure on the Saints, out shooting the home team by an early 7-2 margin and 13-7 for the second half.
Then the corner kicks were executed perfectly when Clemmons kicked it from the right corner as Rose got inside a crowd of defenders, making contact with the ball as it deflected into the net, despite protest by the Elkmont goalkeeper and fans watching it from the outside near the concession stand.
The official on the right side, confirmed with the referee that the ball went in without St. Bernard committing a violation.
That lifted the Saints as a minute after the go ahead goal, Anthony Silva fought off a good shot at goal by Elkmont, with Clemmons clearing it out of the zone.
Then with 8:52 to play, a corner kick from the left side was right on target as Zatarian headed it in for a 3-1 lead. That eventually broke the spirit of Elkmont.
The Red Devils were unable to get any good shots against Silva the rest of the way and St. Bernard's winning streak extended to eight straight, since a 1-0 win over J.B. Pennington April 5.
St. Bernard has allowed three goals in that span, with five wins coming by shutout.
The Saints finish 8-1 at home in 2018 as they now will take a trip to Birmingham Friday and face Altamont in the second round. Altamont is 13-6-1 after shutting out Donoho Monday evening 9-0.
The winner of the 2nd round will advance to the semifinals to be in Huntsville the following weekend.
Photo 1: St. Bernard Saints during the National Anthem Tuesday evening.
Photo 2: St. Bernard coach Michael Clemmons hugs a fan for good luck prior to soccer playoff game vs. Elkmont.
Photo 3: Michael Bain Clemmons goes for the ball in 1st half of playoff game Tuesday.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
AHSAA 1A/3A, Area 8 Soccer
At St. Bernard Stadium:
Tanner 0 0 - 0 (9-7-2, 2-4)
St. Bernard 1 1 - 2 (11-6-1, 8-0)
St. Bernard goal by John Christian Rose (2:19 in 1st)
St. Bernard goal by Christian Peterson (18:28 in 2nd)
SHOTS ON GOAL:
Tanner 19, St. Bernard 18
FLASH NOTES: With an area title wrapped up by a win last week at Tanner, St. Bernard wanted to complete the area schedule without a setback.
Tanner needed to be victorious in order to stay alive for a playoff berth. But the Rattlers were denied as the Saints celebrated Senior Athlete Night in extending their winning streak to 10 wins with one tie in their last 11 games.
This was the Saints' eighth shutout in this stretch as goal keeper Anthony Diaz turned away 19 shot attempts by the Rattlers.
St. Bernard was outshot early 6-2 in the first half, then started to make a move in getting the ball into the Tanner zone that enabled the Saints to finish with eight shots on goal by intermission.
A pivotal play was John Christian Rose able to score in a crowd as he headed the ball past the goal into the next with 2:19 remaining in the half to break the scoreless battle.
Tanner continued to pressure the Saints and had a goal with 0:08 to go in the half. But the referee ruled the Rattlers were offsides and the goal was disallowed.
St. Bernard claimed an important second half 11 and a half minutes into the second stanza when Peterson got loose on a breakaway and put it in to make it 2-0.
The Saints had several more chances as far as adding to their two-goal lead, but were kept off the board for the rest of the contest.
Diaz did his part as three critical shots by Tanner failed to get into the net. The first bounced off the post with 10:00 remaining. Diaz then deflected two good looking shots in front of him with 5:00 to go, keying the Saints' first time in sweeping Tanner during the regular season.
Big time defensive plays came from Rose, Michael Bain Clemmons, Alex Shoaff, Alec Von Theulen, Lexis Gallegos, Luis Sanchez, Carson Holmes and Fulton Gil when Tanner tried to be physical and was unable to be productive offensively in failing to score on 19 shot attempts.
The Saints will host a first round playoff assignment on May 1 (Tuesday) at 6:30 p.m. against the runner-up from Area 8.
Tanner's loss eliminated them from postseason contention, with Whitesburg Christian to be the runner-up to the Saints in Area 7.
Photo 1: St. Bernard's Michael Bain Clemmons with his parents during Senior Athlete Recognition Night prior to the Saints' soccer game vs. Tanner.
Photo 2: Father Joel Martin takes photo during St. Bernard Senior Athlete Recognition Night.
Photo 3: St. Bernard's John Christian Rose scored the game winner in Saints' 2-0 victory over Tanner Tuesday night.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton