5A Volleyball | Arab, Gulf Shores, Montgomery Academy and Westminster Christian advance to semifinals

Birmingham, AL – The 52nd annual Alabama High School Athletic Association Elite 8 State Volleyball Championships got underway Tuesday at the Birmingham CrossPlex with four Class 5A quarterfinal matches.

Gulf Shores, Arab, Montgomery Academy and Westminster Christian posted wins to advance to the semifinals set for 4 p.m. today. Gulf Shores meets Westminster and Arab takes on Montgomery Academy in the semis. The finals will be Wednesday at adjoining Bill Harris Arena at 10 a.m.

Classes 1A, 2A and 4A also get underway today with Finals tipping off Wednesday. Class 3A, 6A and 7A open play Wednesday at the CrossPlex with finals set for Bill Harris Arena Thursday. All matches are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network’s school broadcast platform

Class 5A quarterfinals

GULF SHORES 3, JASPER 2 (19-25, 25-21, 16-25, 25-17, 15-11): Gulf Shores rallied past the Vikings to keep its Class 5A state championship hopes alive in the day’s first five-set match.

Sofia Sobol led the Dolphins (46-16) with 18 kills and 18 digs, and Julia Fisher added 15 kills, two blocks and two digs. Lily Zlab added 13 kills and Macy Moore added 23 digs for Gulf Shores, coached by Karen Atkins.

Alyna Hattaway contributed 18 kills, seven digs and five blocks, and Ashlyn Powers added nine kills and 19 digs for Jasper, coached by Bobby Daniels.

ARAB 3, FAITH ACADEMY 0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-14):
 The Knights (48-13), coached by Amy Hudson, dominated behind Karli Walker, who filled the stat sheet with 10 kills, four blocks, five digs and seven aces.

Arab’s Laney Kelley and Sami Kate Hudson added eight kills apiece, and setter Anna McFerrin had 27 assists, three kills and three digs. Marissa Pope anchored the defense with 14 digs.

Parker Goff led the Rams (27-19) with 12 blocks, and Katy Parker added 19 assists and three kills. Anya Powell added three kills for Faith Academy, coached by Claire Elliott.

WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN 3, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN 0 (25-15, 25-9, 25-12): Westminster Christian (45-9) won the Class 4A title last year and moved closer to the 5A title with a quick quarterfinal win Tuesday. Calli Tanielu led the Wildcats (45-9) with 18 kills, eight digs and two blocks, and Meg Paparella added 11 kills and six digs. Paislee Shelton had 36 assists, and Rylee Sexton added 11 digs for the Wildcats, coached by Holly Richards.

Providence Christian (20-26), coached by Bill Oldfield, got seven kills and nine digs from Reagan Stevens, and Ella Brown added 11 digs. Ella Houston had 17 assists and four digs.

MONTGOMERY ACADEMY 3, LAWRENCE COUNTY 1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21): Montgomery Academy, led by Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame coach Julie Gordon, got 19 kills from Elle McBride and 14 kills from Caroline McDaniel. Addi Vinson added 20 digs, 42 assists and four aces for Eagles (44-6), while Avery Pemberton had 25 digs.

Lawrence County, coached by Robyn Hutto, finishes the season with a 35-24 record. Ava Boyll had 17 kills, four blocks and 15 digs, and Bentlee Cross had eight kills and 15 digs. Setter Kylie Graham had 36 assists and two service aces.

Photo | Jasper’s Lilly Waldrop returns the ball as Gulf Shores’ Sofia Sobol defends in the 5A Quarterfinals Tuesday.  (AHSAA Photo | Marvin Gentry)