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Lillyanna Cartee goes for the kill against Woodlawn in the Eddie Preuitt Ford Tournament on Saturday. Special to the Enquirer/ James Meadows.

Hartselle volleyball finishes runner-up in Heffstrong Tournament

Hartselle Tigers volleyball finished runner-up in the Heffstrong Tournament Saturday at Spain Park High School. 

The original field of 25 teams included 18 teams in the Top 10 of their classifications, including three No. 1 teams – Hoover (7A), Hazel Green (6A), and Montgomery Academy (4A). Hazel Green had to drop out because of coronavirus. 

The Tigers were in a pool with 7A No. 3 Spain Park, No. 8 Bob Jones, and 5A No. 2 Providence Christian. 

Hartselle opened play with a loss to Providence Christian 22-25 and 23-25, in the Tigers’ only match Friday night. They bounced back Saturday with wins over Spain Park 25-21 and 25-17 and Bob Jones 21-25, 25-19, and 15-12 to advance to the gold bracket. 

The Tigers defeated 6A No. 2 Mountain Brook 25-21 and 25-13 to open bracket play. 

In the semifinals, Hartselle defeated 4A No. 1 Montgomery Academy 25-16, 18-25, and 15-13 to advance to the finals. 

The Tigers met 7A No. 1 Hoover in the finals. The Bucs defeated Hartselle 25-19 and 25-21 to win the tournament championship. 

“We did not play well Friday night, and I was disappointed in their performance and focus,” said Hartselle head coach Tanya Lybarger. “Saturday we met early and discussed our goals and jobs as players, and I believe my girls responded and played well. We beat some talented teams.    

Overall, I was pleased with their performance.” 

Lillyanna Cartee led the way for the Tigers with 75 digs and 46 kills. Hailey Holshouser added 57 kills, 41 digs, and eight aces. Jessica Jarrett had 61 digs and 20 kills, while Grace Tapscott recorded 138 assists, 44 digs, seven kills, and six aces.  

Tori Hughes had 47 digs, and Jadyn Chesser finished with 24 digs and 23 kills. 

“We still need to work on some areas that we are weak in, but I feel like girls are focused and determined to keep improving as the regular season is coming to a close,” added Lybarger. 

Hartselle (35-10) will play in the county tournament Thursday at Falkville, with games beginning at noon. Saturday the Tigers will host Mountain Brook and Pelham in a tri-match.