Young Lady Hawks soar to state
Danville’s Lady Hawks swept Ashville 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-19) to clinch a berth to the AHSAA Elite 8 at the Pelham Civic Complex on Wednesday.
Danville will face Montevallo in the state quarterfinals at 2 p.m. The Lady Bulldogs, which were unranked in the Birmingham News poll in spite of having a 25-1 record, swept Abbeville 25-18, 25-11, 25-11.
Spencer Cole, head volleyball coach for Danville, said little was expected out of his team this year after losing so many starters from last year’s team, which also made it to Pelham for the state tournament.
“I’ve never had a year when we lost so many starters as we did this year,” Cole said. “Our girls stepped up one-by-one through the year to take on the positions left vacant by last year’s team and we’re right back in the state tournament again.”
The Lady Hawks overcame some adversity early against Ashville as the Lady Bulldogs took a 19-16 lead with the team’s leading hitter, Sydni Shelton, on the back row. However, once she returned to the front line, Danville held the lead and won the game 25-22.
Then Danville steamrolled Ashville in the second set 25-13.
The Lady Hawks kind of relaxed in the third game as Ashville took a quick 5-1 lead. Danville then stormed back to go up 17-6. The Lady Hawks relaxed again and let it get close, but they put Ashville away 25-19 thanks to a number of Shelton putaways down the stretch.
Shelton led the team with 25 kills, 1o digs and four blocks. Haley Rae Garnett also had 38 assists and 10 digs. Jada Callahan collected 11 kills and two aces.
Kelsey Alvis had the most aces with three while Lindsey Vinzant had two kills and Keri Callahan finished with 19 digs.