All Saints’ Day: St. Luke’s, St. Paul’s win state volleyball title

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MOBILE, AL (WNSP) — All Saints’ Day has come early for Mobile high schools.

Two of the four local teams in the AHSAA volleyball finals have won the state title: St. Luke’s and St. Paul’s. The Lady Wildcats beat Winston County, and the Lady Saints beat Alexandria Thursday.

“It was everything I could have hoped for,” St. Luke’s senior and tournament MVP Elizabeth Thompson told AL.com.

St. Luke’s (46-14) completed an 11-game win streak with its 28-26, 25-11, 25-13 victory, though its first set was in doubt. At one point, Winston County led 24-22.

“If we could have pulled that off, the outcome probably would have been a little bit different,” Winston County coach Tiffany Cole said. “After fighting that hard and losing, it’s hard to come back.”

However, Natalie Bonner, Jada Carney and Thompson each finished with at least nine kills, and the Lady Wildcats never looked back.

“I knew if we served and passed well, we had them.” St. Luke’s coach Meredith Donald said.

St. Luke’s finished with 43 kills, while Winston County had 25. Thompson had five blocks, and libero Kellan Hensley had 21 digs.

Later, St. Paul’s (44-7) took down Alexandria 28-26, 25-21, 25-13.

In the first set, the Lady Saints started to pull away, but the Lady Cubs stole the lead 22-20. St. Paul’s took advantage of two errors at the end of the set, and took it.

“From the beginning of the season, after the first weekend we were ranked No. 1, and that put a target on our back,” head coach Lisa Marston said. “Our ball control has never let us down. I feel like it can’t be matched.”

The next set saw fewer lead changes despite a similar story on the stat sheet. The Cubs tied the game at 20, but a 4-1 run gave St. Paul’s the advantage, which was all it needed.

The last set was short of a rout—the Lady Saints started the set with a 9-0 run, and never led by less than nine after that.

“We just played for ourselves and it showed in that last set,” senior Saint Konner Wilks said. “We just played our game. That’s what we said all year and look where we are.”

Senior Parker Canada won the MVP award. She finished with 13 kills and 11 digs, one of five players with 10 or more digs.

The other two local teams are Spanish Fort, who takes on Hazel Green at 4 p.m., and Bayside Academy, who plays Providence Christian at 6. The Finals were held at Bill Harris Arena in Birmingham.