Geraldine captured its sixth consecutive DeKalb County Varsity Volleyball Tournament championship Saturday.
The top-seeded Bulldogs defeated No. 2 Fyffe 2-1 (25-16, 21-25, 15-13) in the championship match to claim their third county title in a row under the guidance of coach Renee Bearden at Collinsville High School.
“I’m very proud of these girls,” Bearden said. “I have never coached a group of young ladies that was as flexible as this group. I can change my lineup multiple times a day and they run with it. Being a team that’s competitive and doesn’t like to lose plays a huge role in that, but overall, they will play anywhere I put them if they think it will get us a win.”
Geraldine’s Lilly Rowell earned the tournament’s MVP award as her team improved its record to 26-12 following an undefeated run in the tournament.
The Bulldogs beat Sylvania 2-0 (25-16, 25-16) and Plainview 2-1 (18-25, 25-22, 15-10) to advance to the championship match.
Rowell finished the tournament with 28 kills and 18 digs with seven aces, one assist and one block. Zoey Faulkner collected 74 assists, 20 digs, three kills, two blocks and two aces, Jaden Dismuke had 41 digs, 14 aces, 11 kills and three assists and Brooklyn Hall chipped in 28 kills, six digs, two blocks and one assist. Alexis Powell had 21 digs, nine kills, five aces, three blocks and one assist, Lydia West added 10 kills, six digs, one block, one ace and one assist. Chloe Murdock finished with 17 digs and four aces and Tinsley Satterfield recorded 13 digs.
“This championship was won by playing as one team. Each of the eight players that played contributed,” Bearden said. “Joanna Hammett has been out since Week 2 due to an injury and two (junior varsity) players [Emma Baker and Kaleigh Butler] also contributed indirectly to this win by communicating where open holes were, where players were, etc.
“It takes a team to win and this bunch has figured that out. I’m excited for the postseason to see what these young ladies will do.”
The all-tournament team included Geraldine's Hall, Rowell and Dismuke; Fyffe's Chloe Hatch and Bella Pettis; Sylvania's Abbey Graham; Fort Payne's Braden Barksdale; Collinsville's Rylee Tillery; Plainview's Jocelyn Hatfield; Crossville's Kinsley Henderson and Ider's Lexi Brewer.
With its runner-up finish, Fyffe lost to Plainview 2-1 (22-25, 25-23, 11-15) in the second round of the winners bracket and defeated Fort Payne 2-0 (25-11, 25-16) in the losers bracket, before topping Crossville 2-0 (25-17, 25-12) and Plainview 2-0 (25-22, 25-21).
Hatch helped power the Red Devils throughout the tournament with 56 kills, 26 blocks, 10 digs and six aces and Pettis added 66 kills with 55 digs, three blocks and three aces. Emma Twilley added 15 digs and 10 kills, Kirby Coots contributed 19 blocks, 17 kills, four digs and one ace and Jade Johnson had 52 kills, 13 blocks, 11 digs and four aces. Jade Benefield registered 18 digs with four aces, Emily Webb added 47 digs and five aces and Summer Anderson had 91 digs and 10 aces. Libby White chipped in 207 assists, 29 digs, 12 kills, eight aces and two blocks, and Livia Cowart had 12 digs, six kills and two blocks.
Plainview earned wins against Crossville (26-24, 25-22) and Fyffe (22-25, 25-23, 15-12) and took losses against Geraldine (25-18, 22-25, 10-15) and Fyffe (22-25, 21-25).
Hatfield paced the Bears with 62 kills, 54 digs, four aces and one block in her all-tournament effort. Saydi Jackson contributed 28 kills, 14 digs and two blocks for Plainview, as Keirstan Hiett had 21 digs with four aces and three assists and Kami Sanders chipped in six kills, five digs and two blocks. Abby McGee registered 52 digs with two aces, Ali Price added 106 assists, 33 digs, one kill and one ace, Jesi Fairris recorded 50 digs, 16 kills and four aces and Cadence Liles had six kills, three blocks and one dig.