BIRMINGHAM – Jasper High School closed out its 2018 season with a 25-20, 25-16, 25-19 victory over Saint James in the Class 5A state finals Thursday at 48th annual AHSAA State Volleyball Championships being held at the CrossPlex’s Bill Harris Arena.
The final match triumph was the 70th match win of the season – putting the Vikings in some special company as just the seventh team in AHSAA history to win 70 or more matches in a single volleyball season. The last previous team to win 70 in a season was Madison County (70-5) in 2012. The state record (79) was set by Huntsville in 2002.
Walker Coach Bobby Daniel’s Vikings (70-5) also finished the season without losing a single set to Class 5A teams – winning all three matches at the North Super Regional and the State Tourney 3-0.
Saint James (37-11), coached by Karen Lee, made its fourth straight appearance in the state finals – winning the title in Class 4A in 2017 and finishing runner-up in 2016 and 2015. The Trojans moved up to 5A this season.
Jasper junior McKinley Ferguson had 14 kills and 10 digs to lead the Vikings. Her stellar play on offense and defense earned her the Class 5A state tourney MVP. Sophomore Alex Oliver had nine kills and 13 digs. She scored the final match point for her team. Setter Molly Kate Atkins added 34 assists and seven digs.
Carson Ann Crow had a game-high 16 kills for Saint James. She also had nine digs. Setter Emily Osley had 15 assists and nine digs.
The four remaining state finals will be played today with all being live-streamed by the NFHS Network.
CLASS 5A ALL-STATE TOURNAMENT TEAM
McKinley Ferguson, Jasper (MVP); Alex Oliver, Jasper; Molly Kate Atkins, Jasper; Carson Ann Crow, Saint James; Emily Olsey, Saint James; Anna Katherine Griggs, Arab.
48th Annual State Volleyball Championships
THURSDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
(All matches to be live-streamed over the subscriber-based NFHS Network; for more information go to www.nfhsnetwork.com)
Class 2A Championship
Addison (54-10) 3, Winston County (33-15) 2 (25-21, 20-25, 19-25, 15-8)
Class 7A Championship
McGill-Toolen Catholic (48-5) 3, Bob Jones (37-11) 0 (25-17, 25-8, 25-23)
Class 5A Championship