Addison moves on to semifinals; Holly Pond falls in 5-game opening set


HUNTSVILLE – Addison has qualified for the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) volleyball state tournament next week in Birmingham.

But on Friday, the Lady Bulldogs still have unfinished business to take care of.

The Holly Pond Lady Broncos encountered another opponent who took them to a 5-game set. After winning a tiebreaker earlier this week in the 3A, Area 10 Tournament over Susan Moore, Holly Pond fell in the tiebreaking set Thursday morning in the North Super Regional at the Von Braun Center.

Addison was up on the spotlight stage at 9 a.m. Thursday in the round of 16, taking on Athens Bible. In three games, the No. 1 team in the 1A rankings eliminated the Lady Trojans 25-10, 25-15, 25-8.

Then in the afternoon, it was a quarterfinal battle against Phillips-Bear Creek. Nothing was going to keep Kayla Woodard's Lady Bulldogs from getting to the Final Four and punching their ticket for a trip to Birmingham next week.

Addison downed Phillips in straight sets 25-16, 25-9, 25-10. In six games so far in the Super Regional, the Lady Bulldogs have won by an average of 25-11.

This team has relied on consistent play throughout the season by Abbie Chambless and her twin sister Allie, along with Savanna Manley, Natalie Jefferson, Makenzie Berry, Kendra Tyree and Maison Evans.

The Lady Bulldogs take a 32-14 record into the semifinals Friday against Donoho from the Anniston area. Addison has gone 4-0 this week in the postseason, leading up to this semifinal encounter with a well-known 1A program that lost the state finals in 2015 to Meek.

Addison won the state championship last year competing in the 2A division.

The winner of Addison/Donoho matchup advances to the finals Friday evening and faces Decatur Heritage or Southeastern/Sacred Heart Catholic.

The loser from the semis plays for third place in the region. This will determine the seeding for next week's state tournament, with the top four of the North Super Regional to go up vs. the top four from the South Super Regional.

For Holly Pond, it turned out to be the longest and most breathtaking assignment for the 3A schools in the round of 16. The Lady Broncos got ahead of Colbert Heights in the first set 25-10, then lost 25-22 and 25-11, having their backs to the wall of the VBC.

But coach Sydney Rowell's team never gave up. They regrouped with good play in the fourth set to win it 25-18 and send the match into a decisive fifth game.

Unfortunately, Colbert Heights pulled it out 15-10 and the Lady Broncos' time in the Rocket City came to an end.

But Holly Pond left an impression on all of those attending, showing how competitive they were against a school from the northwest corner of the state.

Seniors Shelby Lynn, Haley Higginbotham and Taylor Tankersley gave all-out efforts in the late morning encounter with some good play from Presley Marks, Taylor Martin, Cassandra Carter and Gracie Thomas.

Cold Springs is in action on Friday from The Cullman Tribune area with a first-round battle vs. Winston County in Class 2A at 9 a.m.


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