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The Bob Jones volleyball team stand tall after finishing runner-up in the AHSAA Volleyball State Tournament held in Birmingham. The Patriots finished the season 51-7 after falling to McGill-Toolen in the state finals. Photo Contributed

Bob Jones Falls In Volleyball State Finals- A Season To Remember

BIRMINGHAM- Simply put- McGill-Toolen has Bob Jones’ number.

For the fourth time in the last five years, the Lady Patriots of Bob Jones fell to the Yellowjackets of McGill-Toolen in the AHSAA State Tournament. The Yellowjackets nailed the Patriots in a five-game thriller in the State Semi-Finals in 2019 and edged Bob Jones for the state championship in both 2017 and 2018. This season, it happened again.

In the finals of the Class 7A tournament held at Birmingham’s CrossPlex, top-ranked McGill Toolen of Mobile defeated fourth-ranked Bob Jones 3-1 for the coveted State Blue Trophy as State Champs. The final scores were 25-18, 27-13, 20-26 and 25-18.

“There were moments when McGill-Toolen could have just run away with the match, but my girls dug in and fought back being very competitive,” said Jenney Jarrett head coach of Bob Jones. “We took that third set and I was so extremely proud of them for fighting as they did.”

In the opening game, Bob Jones opened a 7-2 lead only to see the Yellowjackets power their way back to take the lead 13-12 before finishing the game at 25-18 in favor of McGill-Toolen. In game two, McGill-Toolen took a quick lead and Bob Jones never got closer than two points in a breeze of a game of 27-13 final score.

Bob Jones used it’s “never say never” attitude and took the third game 25-20 and seemed to turn the tide in their favor, but McGill-Toolen had other thoughts. In game four, the Patriots actually took a 17-13 lead, but the Yellowjackets used numerous kills to battle back for a 25-18 win and earned their 22nd program state title.

For Bob Jones, sophomore Kennedy Vaughn led the squad with 13 kills while Rachel Meckenburg (Jr.) had nine and fellow junior Eliza Tyrrell added eight. Med Jarrett (Jr.) had 24 digs to lead the Patriots while sophomore Riley Lovell had 21. Lovell also had 31 assists in the match. Overall, McGill-Toolen finished with 49 kills to 37 for Bob Jones and had only five serve errors to eight for the Patriots.

It was the first state title for McGill-Toolen (51-8) since 2018 while Bob Jones earned titles in both 2008 and 2013.

The All-Tournament Team, which was selected at the conclusion of the tournament included Jarrett, Lovell and Vaughn of Bob Jones.

“I told our players they accomplished such great things this year,” added Jarrett. “To finish 51-7 and second in the state…as they left everything they had on the court. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Bob Jones earned its way to the Class 7A finals with 3-0 victories over both Auburn and St. Paul’s. The final three-match statistics included: Kennedy Vaughn- 37 kills, 17 digs, 6 blocks; Riley Lovell- 10 kills, 5 aces, 85 assists, 50 digs, 4 blocks; Meg Jarrett- 52 digs, 4 aces, 8 assists; Rachel Mecklenburg- 24 kills, 6 aces; Eliza Tyrrell- 19 kills, 7 blocks; Kali Beigh- 24 digs.

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