Opposite fates for local teams

Published 9:38 pm Thursday, October 21, 2010

Full of emotion: Isabella’s Savannah Kissel, Kaylynn Culp (21) and Allison Mims (10) celebrate after defeating Flomaton in the sub-state round of the playoffs.

Isabella’s and Jemison’s volleyball teams found themselves on opposite ends of the spectrum of emotion on Thursday.

Isabella defeated Flomaton, 3-2 (25-15, 21-25, 25-13, 8-25, 15-1) in the sub-state round of the playoffs, earning the Mustangs (35-10) a trip to the Elite 8 state tournament and a chance at redemption after a poor showing on that stage last season.

Jemison, meanwhile, played inspired volleyball at times but allowed Andalusia to come back twice—once after Jemison had taken a two sets to none lead and again after the hosts led 10-3 in the final set—and lost, 3-2 (16-25, 22-25, 25-16, 25-14, 12-15.

Isabella used its home court advantage—the match began at 1:30 p.m., and many students, including some with their chests painted in school colors, were in attendance—to take a Set 1 win, but the visitors settled in quickly.

The hosts were one set away from a win but lost all their momentum in the fourth set.

That situation was revisited in the fifth set, as IHS took a 9-2 lead with Jessica Maciel serving but allowed Flomaton to tie the score with Amber Wyatt, Isabella’s difference maker at the net, on the bench because of the rotation.

But Khadijah Craig toed the service line with Isabella leading 11-10 and served out the victory. Craig also made a crucial dig to keep one point going.

“We jumped on them like we wanted it but let them get back in it,” IHS coach Glen Graham said.

Wyatt recorded 20 kills and 10 blocks in the match, and Maciel tallied 23 assists.

For Jemison, Kasi Wells led with 19 assists to go along with six digs, five kills and two blocks.

Morgan Posey recorded a team-high 14 digs, and both Tanya Liveoak and Emily Smithey had five aces.