Danville takes third, advances to state
Special to the Enquirer
In 3A action Danville qualified for the third seed from its region in a gripping finale against Winston County. The Hawks battled against Piedmont and Madison Academy before facing off against Wintson County for their state seed.
“We just showed a lot of heart today,” said Danville head coach Spencer Cole. “Three of these type matches in a day is tough, but we really dug down deep and scored seven unanswered points that were really big. If I had to say one thing about the team it was their hustle at the end.”
Danville kicked off its tournament against Susan Moore high school. The Hawks downed the Bulldogs in three sets with scores of 25-4, 25-12 and 25-15. The win set Danville up against Piedmont.
The Hawks quickly struck by taking the first two sets 25-20 and 25-10. Piedmont still showed signs of life by edging out set three 25-21. However, Danville controlled its future by sweeping set four 25-17 and qualifying for the state tournament as well as a chance at the regional championship.
Before claiming a regional title Danville had to take on Madison Academy. The Hawks took immediate control of the match by taking set one 25-20. But the Mustangs bounced back to take the following three sets 25-14, 25-11 and 25-12.
The loss left Danville to fight for third seed against Winston County. Danville struck early again winning the first two sets 25-21 and 25-26. Winston County responded with a stiff 25-16 win in set three. The Hawks bounced back with an exciting fourth set, closing out Winston County 25-21 and asserting their third place qualification.
“Being third instead of fourth heading into the state tournament means we don’t have to face the best team first,” said Cole.
Danville will now face off against Cottage Hill in the first round of the 3A state tournament. The match is set to begin at 11 a.m. in Birmingham.
“When we started the year we only had two players that started varsity, so for them to make here has really been a journey for Danville volleyball,” Cole said.
“We played the season to get better and the girls really applied what we tried to teach. They believed in us as a coaching staff and we really believed in them. It’s a huge accomplishment to lose that much but still make it this far. I am so proud of our girls and the heart that they showed.”
Statistical leaders for Danville:
Kills: Sydni Shelton 77, Kellee Stiles 31, Megan Luker 31
Assists: Charlee Anderson 132
Blocks: Sydni Shelton 5
Digs: Sydni Shelton 42, Kellee Stiles 40
Aces: Sloan Lindsey 8, Charlee Anderson 8