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Hartselle Enquirer

Danville hosting state's best

By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
Volleyball’s elite class will be in Danville this weekend for the third annual Tournament of Champions.
The tournament, one of the top prep volleyball events in the Southeast, features a lineup of 24 of the state’s top volleyball programs, including 20 teams that were ranked in the most recent prep volleyball rankings last week.
Four teams from Morgan County will participate in the event - Danville, Hartselle, Brewer and West Morgan. Three of those teams are off to great starts this season and should be favorites to get to the Elite Eight in Pelham in November.
Hartselle is ranked fourth in Class 5A, while Brewer is seventh. Danville is currently ranked seventh in Class 3A.
Three teams participating in the event are currently the top-ranked teams in their respective classes: Jacksonville (4A), Bayside (3A) and Addison (2A).
Jacksonville could be one of the favorites to emerge from pool play at Danville, Speake and Hartselle high schools.
Bracket play will be held at Danville’s gym.
Jacksonville, the defending Class 4A state champions, have posted a 23-0 record this season without losing a single game.
Led by middle hitter Elizabeth Neisler and libero Leah Bell, Jacksonville should be a favorite to win the state championship this year.
Bayside Academy has won six straight state titles in Class 3A.
Lexington, who won the Class 3A state title last year, is also in the tournament field this weekend.
Danville honored
Danville’s 2007 volleyball team was recently honored with the American Volleyball Coaching Association’s Team Academic Award.
It marked the third straight year Danville had been honored by the organization for its academic accomplishments.
The Lady Hawks reached the quarterfinals in Class 3A the past two seasons and were the state runnerup in 2005.
Five members of the 2007 team posted grade point averages of 4.0: Chelsea Keenum, Tara Wimberley, Morgan Doherty, Lindsay Simmons and Kaitlin Wallace.
The only other team in Alabama to earn the honor was Homewood High School.
Sports editor Todd Thompson can be reached at 773-6566 or by email at todd.thompson@hartselleenquirer.com

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