PREP VOLLEYBALL: Good Hope downs West Point to win County Title

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The Good Hope Lady Raiders celebrate after winning this year’s Cullman County Volleyball Tournament Tuesday night. (Bill Piper/The Cullman Tribune)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. – For the first time since 2015, the Good Hope Lady Raiders are Cullman County Tournament champions and they had to come from behind and defeat the two-time defending champs to make it happen. West Point entered Tuesday night’s finals as back to back defending champions and dominated the opening set to take an early lead but the Lady Raiders were able rally and bounce back to win the next two sets and topple the Lady Warriors to earn this year’s county crown.

After the come from behind victory, Good Hope Head Coach Natasha Holder was proud of the way her team responded after a tough first set.

“There are no words to express how proud I am right now,” Holder said. “The girls’ grit and effort just to fight back after losing that first set was great. We sat for so long and I felt like we just needed to get warmed back up and they knew they had to go out there and take it. It wasn’t going to be given to them and West Point gave us a good run. They’re a great team.”

Holder likes the way her team is playing together right now and wants to see them continue building on that as the postseason approaches.

“I think it starts with our senior leadership. I have seen our seniors step up so much as leaders on the court this year. They bring that energy, and they bring that effort that we need. We’re all playing together right now and that’s what we need to excel at when we get to the postseason.”

The Lady Raiders knocked off Fairview in the semifinals and West Point got by the Lady Aggies in the loser’s bracket to set up the showdown with Good Hope in the finals. The Lady Warriors took an early, 5-1 lead in their first set against the Lady Raiders and they extended their lead to 12-2 as the set went on. West Point pulled ahead 16-4 and led 21-9 at one point before pulling away to take the opening set of the county finals 25-14.

Things were much tighter in the second set. The score was knotted at 3 early and stayed tied at 12 midway through the set. Good Hope broke a 16-16 tie with a 3-0 run to take a 19-16 lead but the Lady Warriors were able to respond and tie things back up at 19 late in the set. West Point moved in front 22-20 at one point but the Lady Raiders finished strong with a 5-1 run to secure a 25-23 win in the second set and force a tiebreaker set.

Both teams were tied at 4 early in third set but Good Hope took control of the momentum and pushed ahead 10-4 with a 6-0 run. The Lady Raiders built a 12-5 lead late in the set and held off a late run from the Lady Warriors to claim a 15-8 win in the final set and their first county championship since 2015.

2021 All-County Tournament Team

Ivey Maddox – Good Hope

Kyndall Seal – Good Hope

Braelee Quinn – West Point

Laci Segrest – Fairview

Cassidy Hutchison – Fairview

Abby Young – Vinemont

Bailey Keef – Good Hope

Ryleigh Jones – West Point

Kamryn Tankersley – Holly Pond

Sadie Smith – Fairview

Kristine Shadix – West Point

Alexis Tidwell – Cold Springs

2021 All-Cullman County Team

Ivey Maddox – Good Hope

Bailey Keef – Good Hope

Cassidy Hutchison – Fairview

Braelee Quinn – West Point

Alexis Tidwell – Cold Springs

Kyndall Seal – Good Hope

Ryleigh Jones – West Point

Kabri Redding – Fairview

Emilie Hoffman – Vinemont

Kamryn Tankersley – Holly Pond

Kennedy Twilley – Holly Pond

Brooklynn Wells – West Point

Sadie Smith – Fairview

2021 Samantha Perdue Award Winner

Ryleigh Jones – West Point

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