CCHS finishes the job against Stanhope-Elmore

Chilton County head coach Emily Driver hands the Area 5-6A champion plaque to Dana Kelley (No. 28), Anna Horn (No. 10) and the rest of their teammates. (Photos by Anthony Richards)

Chilton County head coach Emily Driver hands the Area 5-6A champion plaque to Dana Kelley (No. 28), Anna Horn (No. 10) and the rest of their teammates. (Photos by Anthony Richards)

Chilton County High School has positioned itself for a possible deep playoff run after winning the Area 5-6A volleyball tournament with a four set victory over Stanhope-Elmore (25-7, 18-25, 26-24, 25-22) on Tuesday.

The Tigers worked hard throughout the season to host the area tournament. As a result, Chilton County had to play one fewer game as well as the advantage of having the home crowd behind them.

“That was key to everything,” Chilton County head coach Emily Driver said. “It set us up to do the best that we could do.”

It was a fast start for the Tigers, who jumped out to an early 10-4 lead thanks to the service game of Jordan Ray.

The Tigers maintained its dominant scoring run throughout the first set and rolled to a 25-7 victory.

However, Stanhope-Elmore responded with a 25-18 win, as Chilton County could not bounce back from dropping the first six points of the set.

The third set proved to be the turning point in the contest, as the Tigers mounted a furious comeback after being down 18-13, which prompted a timeout by Driver.

“We had to reevaluate ourselves during that timeout,” Chilton County senior Kaley Lucas said. “That match was all about the mental game. We realized it was ours, and we went out there and made it happen.”

The Chilton County varsity volleyball squad hosted and won the Area 5-6A tournament on Tuesday.

The Chilton County varsity volleyball squad hosted and won the Area 5-6A tournament on Tuesday.

Lucas came up with timely kills time after time during a 13-6 scoring run that helped Chilton County close the set 26-24.

“We just had to stay confident in our play and not be satisfied,” Driver said.

According to Driver, she noticed a difference in the team’s communication on the court as things started to go right and the momentum began to swing in the third set.

Both teams traded points in the fourth set before Chilton County grabbed a 12-9 lead shortly after Lesley Harton kept a play alive by nearly chasing a ball into the stands.

“It was very nice to see that they were able to stay strong and transfer that energy to the fourth set,” Driver said. “That showed great leadership.”

Dana Kelley buried an ace to extend the lead 17-14 and Lucas helped put the game away with a block and a kill on consecutive possessions down the stretch.

One of the biggest differences from this year’s team compared to the previous years is the ability to win in a variety of ways.

“Finishing games is what we’ve worked on since the start of the season,” Lucas said. “Tonight that really showed.”

Anna Mims had a team-high 11 kills, while Lucas finished with 10 and Kelley had five kills to go with four aces.

Harton led the way with 25 set assists.

Chilton County’s next game will be in the first round of the South Super Regional against Blount High School on Friday at 11:30 a.m. All games in the South Super Regional will be played at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.

 

 

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