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Grace Tapscott sets the ball in Hartselle’s 3-0 victory over Cullman. Tapscott returned for her first action on her home court following an ankle injury that has kept her out all season. Special to the Enquirer/Jim Meadows.

Hartselle sweeps Cullman and Muscle Shoals to win regular season area championship

The Hartselle Lady Tigers swept area foes Muscle Shoals and Cullman to win the 6A Area 14 regular-season championship.

Hartselle traveled to Muscle Shoals on Tuesday for matches with Muscle Shoals and Florence. The Lady Tigers defeated the Lady Trojans 3-0 (25-14, 26-24, 25-23) to move to 5-0 in area play. They also defeated the Lady Falcons 2-0 (25-21, 25-11) to improve their record to 21-12.

The Lady Tigers received a huge boost prior to the game as senior Grace Tapscott suited up for her first action of the season.  She was out due to an ankle injury suffered in the preseason.

“Grace saw action for the first time and it gave us a big boost,” said coach Tanya Lybarger Childers. “She gives us some senior leadership and experience that was missing while she was out.”

Megan Lee and Amber Holshouser have been the primary replacements for Tapscott in her absence.

“Amber and Megan have done a tremendous job in filling in for Grace,” said Childers. “We have had to move players around due to Covid and each time, our players have stepped up to the challenge.

Tapscott finished with 31 assists and two kills in the two matches. Jadyn Chesser added 24 kills and 12 digs. Megan Lee had 23 digs and Ashley Holshouser had 14.

Cullman came to visit Thursday night for an area match with postseason implications on the outcome. The two teams met two weeks ago in Cullman with the Lady Tigers winning 3-1.

The Lady Tigers and Lady Bearcats battled through three sets with Hartselle picking up the sweep 3-0. The Lady Tigers won 25-23, 25-21, and 25-20.

Tapscott, playing in her third match of the season, finished with 18 assists and two kills. Chesser had 15 kills and seven digs, while Lee added 17 digs. Ashley Holshouser had 15 digs, while her sister Amber added 10 assists and five digs. Lydia Simmons had eight kills, three blocks, and two digs. Alia Wright finished with six kills.

“Winning the regular season is huge for us,” said Childers. “It gives us a home-court advantage for the area tournament.”

The Lady Tigers improved to 22-12 overall and 6-0 in area play with the victory. They will host the area tournament later in October.

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