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October 30, 2013

CLASS 1A STATE VOLLEYBALL TOURNEY: Addison, Donoho set for 3rd straight title clash

BIRMINGHAM — Top-ranked Addison held up its end of the deal. So did No. 2 Donoho. Now it's time to watch the two slug it out in the Class 1A State Volleyball Tournament championship match for a third straight year.

The Bulldogs blew by Winterboro Wednesday and staved off No. 3 St. Luke's in three sets to advance to the title tilt, which will be played at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

After finishing as runners-up to the Falcons each of the last two seasons, senior Kayla Robinson couldn't help but be thrilled to get another shot at the two-time defending champs.

“We've been waiting on it,” the outside hitter said. “We're after revenge. We're ready for it.”

St. Luke's managed to keep it close early and late in the semifinal, but Addison's strong serving, solid ball control and adjustable defense were more than enough to clinch the victory in straight sets (25-19, 25-8, 25-18).

With the Wildcats (42-16) throwing out a few plays the Bulldogs had yet to see this season, coach Pam Wilkins asked her squad to change its defensive gameplan mid-match — and it did, in grand fashion.

Wilkins credited Robinson, one of Addison's two captains, with commandeering the switch in tactics.

“That's what a senior does — she adjusts,” the coach said. “And we asked a lot out of her right there.”

While other players might've been nervous at the thought of playing on the big stage, Summer Hinton welcomed it. The junior packed the power against St. Luke's, rounding up 10 kills and five aces to go along with eight digs and one block.

“I've just wanted to be here already,” the junior said. “I want to get the results.”

The Bulldogs' full team effort versus the Wildcats showed precisely why they've cruised against even the toughest of 1A competition all season.

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