Mustangs fight back to win county tourney

Published 2:37 pm Saturday, October 2, 2010

Isabella won the 2010 Chilton County Volleyball Tournament.

THORSBY – Isabella fought back from a lost first set on Saturday to defeat rival Jemison, 2-1 (18-25, 25-21, 15-7) and win the Chilton County Volleyball Tournament for the second time in three seasons.

No county team other than Isabella or Jemison has won the tournament since its resumption in 2003, and the Mustangs and Panthers fought like familiar foes at this year’s event, hosted by Thorsby.

Jemison played focused, flawless volleyball in taking the first set from Isabella, ranked eighth in Class 1A, but the second and third sets were dominated by tournament Most Valuable Player Amber Wyatt, who finished with 23 kills, seven blocks, seven digs and six aces in two matches.

“I was just so proud of our kids and our coaching staff,” Isabella coach Glen Graham said. “One thing this team has done all year is keep fighting.”

Graham said he told his Mustangs in practices leading up to the tournament that they would have to serve aggressively. Wyatt, Savannah Kissel, Kaylynn Culp, Heather Mason and Jessica Maciel all had three aces each against a Jemison team that Graham described as “hard to ace.”

Graham also said improved passing was crucial to his team’s turnaround after the first set.

Isabella defeated Thorsby, 2-0 (25-17, 25-14) in its first match of the day, while Jemison topped Chilton County, 2-0 (25-19, 25-6), to advance to the championship match.

CCHS beat Thorsby, 2-0 (25-15, 25-22), in the consolation match.

Along with Wyatt, the all-tournament team included Chilton County’s Keondra Looney, Thorsby’s Desiree Evans, Jemison’s Kasi Wells and Hallie Amos, and Isabella’s Kissel and Mason.

Kissel had eight kills and 10 aces in two matches combined, Maciel had 27 assists, Allison Mims had 14 digs and Culp had 11 digs.

Emily Smithey got every one of her 19 serves in for Jemison, and that number included five aces, second only to Wells’ eight aces.

Smithey led the team in digs with 16; Amos wasn’t far behind with 14.

Wells recorded 23 assists.

Kortney Robinson had nine kills, and Shelby Griffin led Jemison with four blocks.

Isabella also won the junior varsity county tournament, held Sept. 30 at Thorsby, with a 2-0 (25-12, 25-9) win over Chilton County and a 2-1 (13-25, 25-20, 15-11) win over Jemison in the championship match.

Savannah Lenoir was named MVP of that tournament; she recorded 18 aces in two matches.

Emily Brasher had eight kills for the Mustangsk Shelby Cleckler had 12 assists, and Kinslee Mims contributed four kills and four aces.

The all-tournament team included Brasher and Misha Carroll from Isabella, Denten Ellison and Katelyn Rowland from Jemison, Tori Bell from CCHS and Jackie Holcomb from Thorsby.