Spring Garden begins play in state tourney
Oct 30, 2013 | 363 views |  0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Birmingham’s CrossPlex is the place to be today for Spring Garden volleyball fans. The Panthers will take an outstanding 35-16 record into their 1 p.m. AHSAA state tournament meeting with St. Luke’s Episcopal of Mobile. Spring Garden enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed from the North Super Regional while St. Luke’s was the No. 2 finisher at the South Super Regional.

With a win over St. Luke’s, Spring Garden will advance to a 7 p.m. semifinal match against the winner to the quarterfinal match between Addison and Winterboro. The Class 1A final is set for 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

At the North Super Regional in Huntsville last week, Spring Garden guaranteed itself a place in the Elite Eight by defeating Brilliant (25-20, 32-30, 25-22) in the opening round of play on Friday and trimming Decatur Heritage (25-21, 27-25, 21-25, 27-25) in the quarterfinals Saturday morning.

At that point, the Panthers encountered Addison, the consensus No. 1 team in Class 1A, in the semifinals and fell 25-14, 25-12, 25-9. In the consolation final, the game to decide third and fourth, Spring Garden bounced back and defeated Athens Bible 28-26, 25-27, 25-12, 25-16.

In their Huntsville matches, the Panthers got big offensive efforts from senior middle Haley Motes and sophomore outside Madison Sides. Each had 41 kills and seven service aces over the two days. Senior middle Dallas Smith recorded 25 kills and junior Emory Reedy had 14 kills along with three aces.

Senior Darby Bryant led in assists with 41 and junior McKenzie Micha had 20 assists. Bryant also had five aces.

At the net, Motes led Spring Garden with nine blocks and Smith had seven blocks. The Panthers did a good job of keeping the ball in play. Sides and senior Maddie Micha each had 34 digs. Reedy had 32 digs, McKenzie Micha 28 and Bryant 24.
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