‘Cats run over Valley, Marbury in area tourneyPublished 12:03pm Thursday, October 24, 2013
The Benjamin Russell Wildcats were one point away from advancing out of the Super Regionals to Birmingham for the AHSAA state volleyball tournament.
After winning the Class 5A, Area 5 tournament this past Tuesday, the No. 5-ranked team in Class 5A has its sights set on avoiding a similar heartbreak in this weekend’s Super Regional tournament.
The Wildcats coasted through the Valley Rams and the Marbury Bulldogs to claim the trophy.
BRHS defeated Valley 3-0 (25-4, 25-8, 25-7) in the opening round of play, and then defeated Marbury 3-0 (25-9, 25-7, 25-17) to claim the area championship.
“It’s been a great season,” said BRHS volleyball coach Pam Robinson. “The girls played hard. We had a little downswing earlier in the season but we’re playing a lot better now.”
Robinson said the team’s passing was key in the tournament victory.
“I asked them to focus on passing for this tournament,” Robinson said. “Mainly, they did what I asked them to do. In the third game of the match against Marbury, our passing went down a little bit, but they pulled it back together.”
Jernika Russell had nine kills , two digs and one block in the match against Valley. In addition to passing, the ‘Cats service game was working for them, as Jada Carr had a team-high 11 aces.
Dee Wyckoff added six aces. Cookie Kelley had five aces.
Versus Marbury, Aaliyah Goggans led the team with eight aces.
Robinson said it was important to get key reserves like Goggans and Savannah Pearson playing time.
“I knew coming into this season, one of our major issues would be depth,” Robinson said. “I wanted to get them some playing time not only to prepare for the playoffs, but also for next season.”
Next for BRHS will be the Super Regionals, which begin Oct. 30.
“The road’s not going to be easy,” Robinson said. “But this team knows what it takes to advance.”