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The Bob Jones Patriots fell in the semi-finals of the AHSAA State Volleyball Tournament after defeating Baker High in the quarterfinals. Photo Contributed

Bob Jones Falls In The State Volleyball Tournament

BIRMINGHAM- The Bob Jones Patriots, the lone remaining local school to advance to the AHSAA State Volleyball Tournament, fought their way to the Class 7A semi-finals only to fall to the McGill-Toolen Yellowjackets for the third consecutive year at the State Tournament. The previous two losses to McGill-Toolen of Mobile came in the championship finals.

“Where we started the season with only two returning starters and a young team in reference to varsity experience, we did very well and I’m proud of our team,” said first year Bob Jones head coach Cassie Mullinax. “We beat McGill-Toolen back in September during the regular season and that was a big stepping stone to our season.”

Against the two-time defending champions, the Patriots fell in three games by scores 21-25, 18-25, 16-25. Bob Jones All-State senior and South Alabama commit Juanita Monteiro-Pai totaled eight kills and 13 digs to lead the Patriots (33-15). Sophomore Adeline Barnes added 16 assists.

Second-ranked McGill-Toolen (39-9) lost in its attempt for a three-peat falling to top ranked Mountain Brook in three games 25-21, 28-26, 25-23.

In the quarterfinals of the 49th annual State Tournament, held at Birmingham’s SportsPlex, the fourth-ranked Patriots defeated the Baker Hornets (21-16) of Mobile 16-25, 25-23, 18-25, 27-15, 15-12. Monteiro-Pai had 18 kills and 19 digs to lead the Pats. Lauren Lyons had 10 kills, four blocks and 20 digs, Krista Degenaar contributed 11 kills and Barnes had 43 assists, 13 digs and two aces.

“We came leaps and bounds since the beginning of the season and we overcame lots of adversity of several injuries to key players,” said Mullinax. “Plus, we had several players who had not been on the big stage before. I feel we had a really good season and I feel blessed to be at Bob Jones with all of the support we’re received.”

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