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AREA VOLLEYBALL TOURNEY THURSDAY
October 16, 2012St. Lukes Episcopal School
Coastal Alabama volleyball teams begin quest for state titles as area tournaments open Thursday
MOBILE, Alabama -- The postseason begins quickly in volleyball this week as most local area tournaments will be played on Thursday evening.
A winner and a runner-up will then advance to Super Regionals at the Multiplex at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery on Oct. 26 and 27.
In the 1A Area 1 tournament at St. Luke's, the fifth-ranked host team will take on J.U. Blacksher at 1 p.m. while Fruitdale will meet McIntosh at 2. The winners will then face off at 3 p.m.
In the 2A Area 1 tournament at Mobile Christian, Flomaton takes on Leroy at 4:30 p.m. with the host team meeting the winner of the first game in the finals at 5:30. In the 2A Area 2 event at Millry, Southern Choctaw takes on Washington County at 2 p.m. while the host team battles the winner of that opening game at 3:30 p.m.
In the 3A Area 1 tournament at Bayside Academy, the top-ranked Admirals (56-2) take on T.R. Miller at 2:30 p.m. while No. 4 ranked Cottage Hill Christian Academy (30-8) takes on W.S. Neal at 3:30 p.m. The winners then meet in the finals at 4:30.
Bayside coach Ann Schilling said her team has to continue to work hard.
"We just have to continue to get better every day," she said. "We have two weeks until the season's end, and we definitely want to finish up strong. Serving and serve receive will be the key to us finishing strong."
Cottage Hill Christian Academy coach Jennifer Newton said her team has to give 110 percent.
"We have played Bayside Academy three times this season so we know what to expect from them," she said. "They are, I believe, the best team in the state. In order to compete with them, we know we will have to play our best. We will have to have great ball control from our back row so that we have a chance to run our offense and our hitters will have to play aggressively at the net. Also, we have focused lately on the need to play consistently and to minimize unforced errors."
In the 4A Area 1 tournament at UMS-Wright, the eighth-ranked host team meets Escambia County at 4:30 p.m. while Thomasville takes on Clarke County at 4:30 p.m. The winners tangle at 6:30.
In the 5A Area 1 tournament at St. Paul's, the No. 1 ranked Saints (37-17) take on Vigor at 4 p.m. while LeFlore meets Faith Academy at 5. The winners battle it out at 6.
St. Paul's coach Kelli Hillier said her team will be ready.
"Our team needs to refocus for the postseason," she said. "This team has worked hard all season and has come a long way. Focusing on our communication on the court is going to be key for us. All the tough competition we have had this season has hopefully prepared us for the single-elimination postseason matches."
In the 5A Area 2 event at Spanish Fort, B.C. Rain takes on Gulf Shores at 5:30 p.m. with the winner of that match meeting the No. 9 ranked Toros at 7 p.m. in the finals.
Spanish Fort coach Barclay Kercher said her team will have to be on its toes.
"We will have to play as a unit, do our individual jobs and set the level of intensity from the start of the game," Kercher said. "Minimizing cluster mistakes and serving aggressive will be the key to our success."
In the 5A Area 3 tournament at Saraland, the host team takes on Jackson at 4:30 p.m. while Citronelle meets Satsuma at 5:30. The finals are then set for 6:30.
In the 6A Area 1 tournament at Baker, play actually starts Friday with the host team taking on Theodore at 4 p.m. while Alma Bryant will meet Davidson at 5. The finals are set to start at 6.
In the 6A Area 2 tournament at McGill-Toolen, the top-ranked Dirty Dozen (49-10) meets up with Mary Montgomery at 4 p.m. while Blount takes on Murphy (36-8) at 5. The finals are then set for 6.
McGill coach Gretchen Boykin said her team will have to be playing their best at the event.
"To have success in the area tournament, our team needs to do a good job of playing consistent volleyball," Boykin said. "We need to serve aggressively and pass well so that we are able to stay in system with our offense. I really want to see my team continue to improve defensively and stay focused on doing the little things that make a difference in big matches."
Murphy coach Nancy Shoquist said her team will be prepared.
"We played very well this past weekend defensively," she said. "We will have to continue to play tough defense, making sure we give that extra effort. Offensively, we have to run strong but smart hits. We are looking forward to the challenge."
In the 6A Area 3 tournament at Robertsdale, Fairhope takes on Baldwin County at 4 while Daphne meets Foley at 5. The No. 10-ranked Bears (51-10) then face the winner of the Fairhope vs. BCHS match at 6 with the finals taking place at 7.
Robertsdale coach Metta Roberts said her team has a simple task to accomplish if they want to have success at the event.
We have to play as a team," said Roberts.