Addison comes up short in title match
by Johnathan Bentley
Nov 02, 2012 | 992 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Addison's Kristen Brewer consoles Kayla Robinson following the Bulldogs' loss to Donoho in the Class 1A championship match Thursday at the Birmingham Crossplex. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Addison's Kristen Brewer consoles Kayla Robinson following the Bulldogs' loss to Donoho in the Class 1A championship match Thursday at the Birmingham Crossplex. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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BIRMINGHAM — Addison brought back a trophy from the Elite 8 State Volleyball Tournament — it just wasn’t the one the Bulldogs wanted.

Addison started the championship match playing on pure emotion, winning the opening set by six points over defending champion Donoho.

By the end, there was plenty of emotion on both sides of the net with Donoho players piling on top of each other in celebration while Addison players held back tears.

Donoho picked up its 10th state volleyball championship with a come-from-behind 19-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-21 victory.

Addison (56-5) had a chance to win each of the last three sets only to fall short down the stretch.

“We always think we are going to win. That’s why it hurts so bad,” Addison coach Pam Wilkins said. “That’s why the girls are crying, because they wanted it so bad.”

Addison pulled away in the early stages of the opening set only to have Donoho rally to take an 18-17 lead. From there, Addison got on a roll and closed with a 8-1 stretch behind the play of Jessica Taylor, who had three kills during the stretch. Donoho grabbed momentum in the second set. Addison fell behind 6-0 and never held the lead, but rallied to tie the score at 23-all before the Falcons took a 27-25 win.

The Bulldogs held late leads in both the third and fourth sets.

In the third set, Addison fell behind at 12-8, but put together a run behind the serve of Chelsea Posey. Addison led 20-17, but Donoho again closed strong for a 25-23 win.

Addison controlled the latter stages of the final set as well, leading 21-17 only to face Donoho’s Corey Phillis, who served the final eight points as the Falcons rallied for the 25-21 win.

“Anytime you are playing Addison, you are going to see quality, quality volleyball. I think the third game was probably the turning point. Up to that time, we were playing point to point and we weren’t sure what we could do,” Donoho coach Janice Slay said. “When we pushed through and won that set, it was a confidence builder. I’ve always said that this group plays its best when they are relaxed. They were able to play relaxed after that point.”

Donoho’s Phillis was named the tournament MVP. Teammates Adele Fink and Peyton Van Ekris also made the All-Tournament Team.

Addison’s Jessy Taylor and Chelsea Posey also made the All-Tournament Team along with Lynn’s Jackee Dodd.

Since 2002, Donoho and Addison have met three times in the championship match with the Bulldogs winning in 2002 — the school’s first title — and Donoho winning each of the last two years. With Thursday’s win, the Falcons also avenged a regular-season loss to Addison.

Despite the loss, Addison’s future remains bright. The Bulldogs lose just two seniors off this year’s squad — Stora Gilliland and Chelsea Posey.

“This team is going to be really good,” Wilkins said. “We were good this year. Any time you get this far, you’ve had a good season. This team has gotten so much better since the start of the season. I really think if I had another three or four weeks, we would really see what they could do. This is a very athletic team.

“Donoho is a good team, too. I can’t ask anything more of our girls. They tried as hard as they could. We were just playing an older, more experienced group. Donoho plays great defense. I have to hand it to them. They played well.”

For Addison, Taylor had 19 kills and 13 blocks in the final match. Chelsea Posey had 11 kills and 23 digs, Holly Posey had 33 assists, six blocks and four kills, Carly Westmoreland added 10 kills, Summer Hinton had seven kills and four blocks, Kayla Robinson had four blocks, Gilliland had 21 digs and Ragen Yarbrough added 14 digs.