PREP VOLLEYBALL: Addison topples G.W. Long to capture 2A State Title

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The Lady Bulldogs celebrate on the floor at Bill Harris Arena after defeating G.W. Long to win this year’s 2A State Championship. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – For the 13th consecutive season, Addison was competing for a state championship and for the seventh time in eight years, the Lady Bulldogs are bringing home a blue map. After falling to G.W. Long in the 2A State Finals last season, Addison got its vengeance Wednesday and toppled the defending champs 3-1 to capture this year’s 2A State Volleyball Championship. The Lady Bulldogs took the first set over the Lady Rebels and after falling in the second set, they were victorious in the third and fourth sets on their way to another state title.

Head Coach Kaydi Woodard just capped off her first season at Addison and she already has a state title under her belt. The championship run for the Lady Bulldogs is even more impressive when you consider the youth of this year’s team and that may be what Coach Woodard is most proud of.

“I’m extremely proud of this team. We are very young, we started two ninth graders and an eight grader and they all just stepped up to the challenge. We only have one senior, and she has faced so much adversity,” Woodard said. “We had a few that decided to leave our team this year and our young ones just stepped up and stepped right into their roles and did such a good job and they did it for this senior and for those older guys. We’re blessed and we’re just so thankful.”

Winning is the norm at Addison and girls of all ages in the community watch the Lady Bulldogs hang up banners every year and think ahead to when they’ll have their chance to represent Addison on the floor. Woodard believes that’s a big part of what drives the success of the Lady Bulldogs’ program.

“I’ve said it before, when you have such a winning program, these younger girls and even elementary school girls see that and that’s what they want. I’ve got a fourth grader and she wants to know if she can make varsity when she’s in seventh grade,” Woodard joked. “That’s just what they work for, and they want it, and they made it happen.”

2A State Tournament MVP Addisyn Smothers remembers losing to G.W. Long this time last year and she was happy to see it would be the Lady Rebels between her and a state title once again this season.

“First off I just want to give all the glory to God because I couldn’t do it without him,” Smothers said. “It’s just such a good feeling, especially after losing last year. That hurts bad and we just wanted to get back into the same situation and bring the blue map home.”

The lone senior on this Addison squad, Sunny Snoddy, echoed some of her coach’s sentiments, praising the younger players for the way they stepped up and embraced the challenge this season.

“Nothing’s possible without God. He has carried us through this and carried our team through a lot of trials this season. It’s been a lot of ups and downs but for me, I’ll be honest, I was a little worried at the beginning of the season,” Snoddy said. “We’re so used to having like six seniors, six juniors and that’s our team. We’ve never had a team this young and I am very, very proud of the way they stepped up. They’ve made me a way better leader than I ever thought I’d be.”

Addison – G.W. Long (25-13, 20-25, 25-19, 25-18) 2A State Finals

The Lady Bulldogs held a 6-4 lead over G.W. Long early in the opening set and they stretched it to 11-7 as the set went on. Addison built a 16-10 lead midway through the first set and continued to pull away, leading the set 21-11 late. The Lady Bulldogs took the first set comfortably, 25-13.

Addison trailed the Lady Rebels early in the second set, but the Lady Bulldogs rallied to take a 10-9 lead as the set progressed. However, a 6-0 scoring run put G.W. Long back in front 15-10 midway through the set. The Lady Rebels extended their lead to 19-14 late in the set and Addison cut the lead to 22-18 at one point but couldn’t complete the comeback and G.W. Long took the second set 25-20.

The Lady Bulldogs fell behind 6-3 early in the third set and G.W. Long maintained a 13-10 advantage midway through the set. However, Addison was able to rally and pull ahead to take a 16-15 lead. The run continued for the Lady Bulldogs as they stretched their lead to 20-16 late in the set and rode the momentum to a 25-19 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.

Addison jumped out to a 7-3 lead early in the fourth set and stretched it to 10-4 as the set went on. The Lady Bulldogs continued to add to their lead, moving in front 14-6 at one point but the Lady Rebels were able to climb back and trim the deficit all the way down to 17-16. However, Addison regained its footing and got back in front 20-16 late in the set. The Lady Bulldogs kept their foot on the gas and collected a 25-18 win in the fourth set to complete their revenge over G.W. Long and take home the 2A State title.

Addisyn Smothers racked up a match-high 27 kills in the win along with 13 digs and Sunny Snoddy added 16 kills and five digs of her own. Gracie Manley posted 42 assists and six digs for the Lady Bullodgs and Abby Waldrep finished with five digs and four kills. Hadley Butler collected 11 digs in the win as well.

All 2A State Tournament Team:

Gracie Manley – Addison

Sunny Snoddy – Addison

Addisyn Smothers – Addison (MVP)

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