High School Sports

Vancleave, OLA volleyball continue to turn out state championships

The Vancleave High School volleyball team celebrated its third consecutive state championship on Saturday in Starkville.
The Vancleave High School volleyball team celebrated its third consecutive state championship on Saturday in Starkville.

The dynasty continues.

Behind the play of South Alabama commit Rebecca Walk and and strong execution on offense, Our Lady Academy swept St. Andrew’s 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-15) to claim the MHSAA Class I Volleyball State Championship at Mississippi State’s Newell-Grissom Building on Saturday afternoon.

It is the Lady Crescents’ eighth consecutive volleyball state championship and fourteenth state title overall.

“Heading into the game we felt like if we could control the ball on offense, we could control the game, we would be fine and that’s what we did,” said OLA coach Mike Meyers. “St. Andrew’s did a good job of keeping the ball in play on defense, but we were able to execute our offense with controlling the ball with good passes and sets. People ask me if this ever gets old. This is the first championship for this team has won, so no it never gets old.”

Walk had 27 kills, five blocks and 15 digs to lead OLA (37-5) offensively.

Ashley Dulot added 17 service points, 23 assists and six digs. Camille Cottone had nine kills and 13 digs, while Kate Funk added 11 assists and five digs.

“Rebecca did such a great job of doing what she normally does, and Camille did a great job of hitting,” Meyers said. “I’m so proud of the girls we accomplished a lot this year. This is something to proud of for the school and the former players. We’ve been blessed with a lot of good players who buy into the program. We’ve got very strong tradition here and that’s what led to our success.”

Vancleave claims 3rd straight title

The legacy continues as Vancleave swept New Albany 3-0 (25-10, 25-20, 25-15) in the all-Lady Bulldog matchup to claim the MHSAA Class 4A State Championship in Starkville Saturday afternoon.

It is the Lady Bulldogs’ third straight state championship after winning back to back Class II state titles in 2017 and 2018.

“We felt confident heading into the game, and we controlled the game from the first set,” said first year Vancleave coach Christina Daigle. “They had good hitters, but we had players that have experience in these types of games, so that helped. We did today what we’ve done all season and the setters moved the ball around with good passes and kept them guessing on defense.”

Eve Mixon, Cheyenne Strickland, Paige Davis and Julianna Overstreet all lead Vancleave on offense.

“We just continued to play and never let up and kept it going. The seniors from last year kept the legacy and this year’s group continued it,” Daigle said. “This was an easy transition for me with me being head coach at the middle school from the start. We keep building the girls up and teach them fundamentals. Thankfully we’ve got some key players returning and we can make another run at it again.”

Vancleave finishes the season with a record of 39-4.

Center Hill tops Long Beach

Center Hill defeated Long Beach 3-1 (25-21, 25-14, 20-25, 25-18) to claim the MHSAA Class 5A Volleyball State Championship.

Long Beach ended the season with a record of 21-9.