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Bob Jones volleyball advances to AHSAA state tournament, set to play Auburn on Wednesday

HUNTSVILLE – Nationally ranked at No. 11, the Bob Jones volleyball team has had its eyes peeled on the Class 7A North Super Regional with advancement to the AHSAA State Tournament where last year the Lady Patriots fell in a heartbreaker in the state finals against McGill-Toolen. The squad has 20-20 vision as it clearly won its way back to the State Tournament winning the Regional event held at the Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville.

The Patriots whitewashed, 3-0, each of its opponents on their way to the regional title. Those falling to the 52-2 Patriots were Oak Mountain (25-12, 25-12, 25-11), Thompson (25-12, 25-17, 26-24) and Spain Park (25-23, 25-22, 25-15).

“We definitely were trying to stay focused as the tourney was tougher than what the scores showed,” said Jenny Jarrett head coach of Bob Jones. “Homecoming was this week and I was afraid the girls would be distracted. These girls were super focused and had their minds set on advancing to state. They have a lot of energy.”

Versus Oak Mountain (26-15) in the opening round, Volleyball Magagine.com national top performers senior and UAB commit Meg Jarrett and junior Kennedy Vaughn both exhibited their nationally known talents. Vaughn had 14 kills with a .591 hitting percentage and Jarrett, daughter of head coach Jenny Jarrett, posted 3 aces, 3 assists and 11 digs. Rachel Mecklenburg (Sr.) had 6 kills, 2 aces, 12 assists, 9 digs and 3 blocks. Eliza Tyrrell (Sr.) had 5 kills and 1 ace. Riley Lovell (Jr.) had 7 aces, 15 assists and 7 digs.

In round two against Thompson (34-7), where the Pats posted a .389 hitting percentage, Vaughn had 15 kills, a .444 hitting percentage and 3 digs, Tyrell had 7 kills, 5 digs, 4 blocks and 2 aces, Mecklenburg posted 6 kills, 19 assists and 8 digs, Jarrett had 11 digs and 3 assists, Lovell scored 1 kill, 2 aces, 17 assists and 6 digs and Anabelle Arnold (Jr.) had 7 kills and a team-high .583 hitting percentage.

In the finals versus Spain Park (20-20), the Patriots were pushed to the max in the first two games before easing to the victory. Individual play for Bob Jones included Mecklenburg with 13 kills, 2 aces, 12 assists, 2 digs and 4 blocks, Vaughn 12 kills, 2 digs and 1 block, Tyrell with 9 kills, 3 aces, 2 digs and 2 blocks, Jarrett had 14 digs, 8 assists and 1 ace, Lovell had 24 assists and 13 digs and Arnold posted 7 kills and 3 blocks.

“Our usual big-time players played big-time,” said Jarrett, in her second year as head coach. “Arnold stepped up in her play and had a good tournament, Lovell, Jarrett and Vaughn each made the big plays necessary for us to play well.

Next up for Bob Jones is the State Tournament, to be played at the Birmingham CrossPlex and Harris Arena, will be Auburn, a fourth seed from the South Super Regional, at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The two did not meet this season, but the Patriots did defeat Auburn in round one of the State Tournament a year ago. Jarrett knows there is a quick turnaround advancing to the State Tournament. She added, “We’re going back to work. Our girls are not just happy to be there, but they want the coveted Blue Trophy signifying a State Championship. We feel as we’ve done what we need to do to enable us to take home that title.”

Bob Jones made its way to the Super Regional by winning the Area Championship as the squad defeated both Florence and James Clemens 3-0.

Elsewhere in the North Super Regional, in Class 7A, James Clemens (18-19) fell in the first round to Spain Park (20-20) 3-2, and in Class 5A, the Lady Mustangs of Madison Academy (37-19) defeated Guntersville (36-21) 3-1 in round one , but fell in the second round to Alexandria (49-8) 3-0.

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