DONOHO — After duking it out all season in the Birmingham News' volleyball rankings, Donoho and Addison — the top-two teams in Class 1A — took to the court in the championship match of the Donoho Classic to determine which squad truly deserved the No. 1 spot.
With a back-and-forth three-set victory — 25-4, 17-25, 15-12 — over the host Falcons on Saturday, the No. 2 Bulldogs all but guaranteed they'll leapfrog top-ranked Donoho when the latest poll is released this Thursday. If that weren't enough, the win was Addison's sixth of the day, allowing the small-school volleyball power to clinch the tournament title.
“It's nice to see who they think No. 1 is,” Bulldog coach Pam Wilkins said of the weekly rankings. “But if you're No. 2, you want to see No. 1. You just don't really know who is better until you play.”
Addison cruised through its first five matches against Faith Christian (25-5, 25-12), Class 2A No. 4 Hatton (25-9, 25-18), Cedar Bluffs (25-7, 25-5), Pleasant Valley (25-9, 25-5) and Athens Bible (25-6, 25-14) to set up the showdown with the Falcons.
The Bulldogs “shook” the hosts with a frenzy of aces to easily claim the first set of the championship, but Donoho rode its own hot service game in the second set to extend the match. From there, Wilkins said her girls took a conservative approach en route to the eventual triumph.
“I thought we played extremely well all day until the championship game,” the coach said. “But we're a young team, and we're still learning. It's good to be tested.”
Although Holly Posey is Addison's setter, the sophomore did far more than dish up passes to her teammates on Saturday. In addition to the 42 assists she compiled in six matches, she had a whopping 26 aces. Five of those monster serves came in the title tilt, complementing Posey's 10 kills and four blocks.
“Her stats were unreal for the whole day,” Wilkins said.
Jessy Taylor's nine aces, Kayla Robinson's eight kills, Chelsea Posey's eight digs and Summer Hinton's six blocks also proved to be vital in the Bulldogs' win versus Donoho.
Addison will look to improve its 28-2 record in a road tri-match with East Limestone and Decatur Heritage on Monday.
% The Times' sports editor Rob Ketcham contributed to this report.