Lady Patriots Take Runner-Up At State Volleyball Championships
BIRMINGHAM- The Bob Jones volleyball team was looking to make it back to the finals of the AHSAA State Volleyball Tournament with a chance to redeem their loss to McGill-Toolen in 2017. The Lady Patriots made it back to the finals in 2018, but came away with similar results losing to the same school they did a year ago in a rematch against the Yellow Jackets. McGill-Toolen (48-5) of Mobile claimed another state title by defeating Bob Jones in three straight games of 25-17, 25-8, 25-23 to earn the Class 7A championship trophy.
This was McGill-Toolen’s 21st state title in action held at the Bill Harris Arena in Birmingham.
“We were leading in game one until point 15 and they served eight consecutive points to take the lead,” said April Marsh head coach of Bob Jones. “In the second game we just didn’t pass well and that hurt us losing 25-8. In the third game we really played well and just came up a little short in a close game.”
Pacing the Patriots (37-11) was junior Juanita Moneiro Pai who had a team-high eight kills and five digs. Senior setter Leaighanna Tralongo had 14 assists. Monteiro Pai and senior Emma Jarrett both earned All-State Tournament Team selections.
“Yes, those girls played well, but this has been a team effort all season long as they played best as a unit. That’s how we won games,” said Marsh.
Bob Jones made it to the State Tournament via winning the North Super Regional in Huntsville last week. Once in Birmingham at the CrossPlex, the Patriots raced through the quarterfinals-finals against Baker High by scores of 19-25, 25-10, 25-12, and 25-18 advancing to the finals. In the semi-final matchup against Hoover, the Lady Pats stayed true with a hard-fought 21-25, 25-11, 25-16, 13-25, 15-10 victory. The win put the Patriots back into the state finals with a chance for redemption.
“I always hate losing, but I am super proud of how these girls stayed true and are winners,” said Marsh. “These girls always knew they would make it this far and they rose to the occasion. They fell just short, but did not quit.”
The Madison Academy Mustangs (36-20) also made their way to the State Championships in Class 5A only to lose in a first-round matchup against Brewbaker Tech (28-12) 25-21, 21-25, 25-21 and 25-19.