Eagle Elite Volleyball: Jasper reaches new heights under Daniels

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 1/6/18

Jasper entered the volleyball season with championship aspirations.

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Eagle Elite Volleyball: Jasper reaches new heights under Daniels

Posted

Jasper entered the volleyball season with championship aspirations.

In the end, the Lady Vikings may have come up just short in the championship match against Pelham, but that didn't take away from Jasper's season in 2017.

Coach Bobby Daniels' squad finished with a 51-5 mark, a North Super Regional Tournament championship and a State Tournament runner-up trophy, marking the best finish in school history.

Thanks to Jasper’s record-setting season, Daniels is the Daily Mountain Eagle’s Volleyball Coach of the Year.

“The thing that I enjoyed about this team was how hard they worked on a daily basis,” Daniels said. “There was never a match they didn’t think they could win. They may not have won them all, but they always thought they would find a way to win in the end.”

Daniels has now led Jasper to the state tournament three straight years.

This season, Jasper won its first 26 matches before suffering a loss.

The Lady Vikings also won every tournament they entered during the regular season — the Albertville Invitational, the Calera Block Party Tournament, the Over the Mountain Tournament in Hoover, the Shrimp Festival Invitational in Gulf Shores and the Don Drummond Family Invitational at Jasper High School's Carl Cannon Coliseum.

Jasper also won the Class 6A, Area 11 Tournament and the super regional tournament in Huntsville, setting the team up with a No. 1 seed at state.

Jasper's first trip to the Class 6A finals ended in a five-set thriller against Pelham.

The Lady Panthers won the first two sets only to see Jasper battle back to force a fifth set for the championship. With the match tied 15-15, Pelham won two straight points to earn the 25-20, 26-24, 22-25, 25-27, 17-15 victory.

Jasper has all the hallmarks of a team that will be a state title contender in the years to come.

The Vikings had just four upperclassmen, including one senior, on the team this year, with all six starters set to return next season. Daniels is expecting more success in 2018.

“The experience part, you can never underestimate how valuable that is, especially playing in those big matches. That has got to help.”