CULLMAN – Cullman County Tournament champion Fairview and runner-up Good Hope joined Cullman in the Lady Bearcats' annual pre-area volleyball invitational tournament Saturday.
Nine schools battled it out through round-robin play followed by a tournament bracket with Brewer and Boaz the finalists to play for the invitational championship.
Fairview went 2-0 in Pool B, Cullman was 2-0 in Pool A and Good Hope 0-2 in Pool A. By chance, Fairview and Good Hope met in the quarterfinal round of the bracket, four days after the Lady Aggies topped the Lady Raiders in the Cullman County Tournament at Hanceville's Lane Horton Gymnasium.
Good Hope, who recovered from the title loss to Fairview by beating West Point three games to two Thursday, took the Lady Aggies to a tiebreaking set. Good Hope won the second game to force an extra set with Fairview getting momentum and claiming a 15-10 decision.
Then it was time for Fairview to battle Boaz in the semifinals on Court 2. The Lady Aggies won the first set 26-24, lost game two 25-20, and the Lady Pirates earned a 15-10 victory in the tiebreaker to go on the finals.
Cullman had wins in the round-robin against Curry and Good Hope, then got Curry in a quarterfinal after the Lady Jackets defeated Hayden in two games to meet the Pool A winner.
Cullman won 25-16, 25-12 behind good play from Anna Evans, Gracie Apel, Tiffani Schwaiger, Meredith McPherson, Amanda Hill, Corley Parrish, Kennedy Wren and Bailey Swann.
Matched up with Brewer, an opponent the Lady Bearcats will see in the 6A, Area 14 Tournament Tuesday at Albertville, coach Michelle Greenlee's squad led 17-14 in the first set before Brewer finished the game outscoring the Lady 'Cats 11-3 and took the set 25-20.
Behind the solid play of Shyan Flack, Hannah Collins, Kelsey Borden, Jessie Privett, Joanie Lang and McCarley Northway, the Lady Patriots swept the match by a final of 25-18 to punch their ticket to the championship.
After winning the county title Tuesday, Fairview won a tri-match Thursday over Douglas and Southeastern, then had three victories before the loss on Saturday to Boaz in the semifinals.
Tracy Means' Lady Aggies are 34-8 heading into the 5A, Area 12 Tournament Tuesday at Fairview. Fairview faces Curry in the semis with the winner to play the winner of West Point-Hayden in the finals.
Samantha Bryson’s Good Hope Lady Raiders are ready to play in the 4A, Area 10 Tournament in Cordova. Good Hope and Dora tangle, with the winner qualifying for the Super Regional and taking on Cordova for the area championship.
The area tournament format is single elimination, being the best of a 5-game series.
The winner and runner-up in each class in the North goes to the Super Regional next weekend at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.
With MVP Phoenix Janusas, All-County players Ally Hoagland, Abbi Taylor and Alivia Boyll, Fairview is looking to make a deep run into the postseason after winning the county championship for the first time since 1999.
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