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The James Clemens volleyball team upset the fifth ranked Bob Jones Patriots in the Area 7 Tournament and advance to the Super Regional as area champs. The Lady Jets will face Grissom in round one of the regional matchup to be held at the Von Braun Center. Photo Contributed

“One For The Ages”- James Clemens Defeats Bob Jones For Area Volleyball Championship

MADISON- Those attending the Area 7 volleyball tournament finals witnessed one for the ages. For the first time in history James Clemens defeated crosstown rival Bob Jones on the Patriots’ home court and in the Area Tournament for the title and now advance to the Class 7A North Super Regional as area champs.

The Jets posted a most unbelievable come-from-behind victory after losing the first two games of the finals match and were on the brink of losing to their most heated rival. “This was a huge step for our program,” said Amanda Wood head coach of James Clemens of her squad’s play held at Bob Jones.

Winning the last three games over the fifth ranked Patriots, James Clemens posted a taste of revenge after losing to Bob Jones during the regular season. In the area finals, the Jets savored the victory with scores of 23-25, 22-25, 25-17, 25-19, and 15-13.

Tournament Most Valuable Player Anna Jupin (5-8, Sr.) led the Jets with four aces, three blocks, 19 digs and 30 kills. Briana Smith (5-10, Jr.) posted three blocks, 18 digs, five kills and 50 assists, Catherine Gwin (5-5, Sr.) had one ace, 31 digs and three assists, Emma Hopkins (5-6, Sr.) carded four aces, 18 digs and 17 kills, while Erica Sandlin (5-8, Sr.) had two aces, five kills, five digs and three blocks for the victors.

Jupin, Smith, Gwin, Hopkins and Sandlin all were named to the All-Tournament Team for their outstanding play. For Bob Jones, all tourney selections included Paige Elliott (So.), Adeline Barnes (Jr.), Rachel Mecklenburg (Fr.) and Jada Burks (Jr.).

“The difference between this match and the one we had with Bob Jones about month ago was consistency,” added Wood. “Down by two games this group of girls handled adversity as we kept our energy level under control. It was the type of play we strive to have.”

In round one, James Clemens defeated Austin 28-26, 25-14 and 25-16 before tackling the always tough opponent in Bob Jones.

The Super Regional will pit James Clemens (29-20) against Grissom (25-21) in the first round. Grissom was runner-up to sixth ranked Sparkman (48-11) in the Area 8 Tournament held at the “Capitol,” home of the Senators at Sparkman. The Lady Senators defeated Grissom 25-21, 23-25, 25-21 and 25-12 to earn the title, remain undefeated at home and will now have a showdown against Bob Jones in round one of the Super Regional scheduled for Oct. 21-23 at the Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville.

As for the Jets, which earned its first Class 7A area title after having won two earlier area tiles in Class 6A, Wood added, “We’re ready for the challenge.”

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – November 24, 2021

Digital Version

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