Hartselle headed back to Elite 8
Hartselle High School’s volleyball team moved a step closer to a Class 5A state championship by trouncing John Carroll Catholic High School 3-1 (25-22. 25-13, 17-25, 25-21) in a best five games match at J.C. Pettey Center Thursday afternoon.
The win moved the Lady Tigers to 53-20 on the season and gave them berth as a No. 1 seed in the final eight tournament, which will be held in the Pelham Civic Complex in south of Birmingham on Wed., Oct. 26. Hartselle will face Faith Academy (15-23), who defeated Central-Tuscaloosa (42-7) 3-2 (25-20, 15-25, 21-25, 25-14, 15-9).
The Lady Tigers dominated the Lady Cavaliers (21-11) in the first two games by scores of 25-22, 25-13, but a fourth game was forced when they fell to the visitors 25-17 in the third game.
They rallied in the fourth game and led all of the way after being tied at 5-all early in the game. The Lady Tigers moved ahead 13-9 on the strength of two back-to-back kills by Taylor Lybarger. Kaylee Shelton scored Hartselle’s last two points on kills after the Lady Cavaliers had pulled to within two points at 23-21.
“We didn’t play a complete match, but it feels good to be going to back to Birmingham with a high seed,” said Hartselle head coach Tanya Lybarger. “I liked the way they re- gained their focus and came back fighting in the final game. They’re doing a good job.”
“It feels awesome to be going back to state,” said Olivia Golden who led her team in scoring with 17 kills. “This is the best feeling I’ve had during all four years I’ve played on the team. I feel everyone on the team is fighting hard to win our first state title.”
“I have a lot of faith in this team” said senior Katelyn Hill. “We let up a little bit in the third game, but we got our focus back and finished strong.”
“I felt like I needed to step up and have a strong game,” said Kaylee Shelton who finished second in kills with 14. She had 17 digs and a block to go with her 17 kills.
Katelyn Hill was credited with four kills, a block and 17 digs, Savanne Howard had 46 assists an 13 digs, Lybarger had 11 kills and 14 digs and Haley Jared had two kills, four blocks and five digs.