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Edgewood bumps Chambers in five sets, defends state championship

Story by Brynlee Gontko | REP YOUR SCHOOL: EDGEWOOD ACADEMY

Photos by Sandie Free | CASCoreboard Photographer

MONTGOMERY – After battling through the AISA’s top teams defending champion the Edgewood Wildcats and an on-fire group of Chambers Academy Rebels were the last two left standing, battling for the trophy. The environment was electric as both teams were backed by their student bodies rocking the rafters inside the multiplex at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl. 

The on-court action was just as exciting as the championship match turned into a five-set battle.

“I feel good. I’m very proud of these girls,” said David DeLozier, Coach of the Volleyball Wildcats. “This time was a lot harder than last year because we are a lot younger this year. I’m happy for the seniors to end this way and I’m glad we trained the way we did.”

Edgewood defeated Chambers 3-2 to win their third state championship in a row. DeLozier has led the Volleyball Wildcats since taking over for Sellers Dubberly (who took over the Montgomery Catholic program and led them to the AHSAA 3A state championship match earlier in the week). 

The Wildcats were down 2-1 and rallied back to tie the match at 2-2 and then win the deciding set 15-7.

DeLozier: “In certain matches I switched up my middles for a different look. I decided to switch around and I think it paid off in those special moments.”

“I was happy to end things this way, again. It feels good,” said Emma Weldon, a Wildcats Senior who has been a part of four state volleyball championship teams at Edgewood. “I hope this team continues to work hard and that they always remember that they can accomplish great things next year when you work together.”

Weldon joined Lindsey Brown and Karlee Mainor in being selected to the Class AA All-Tournament Team. Claire Allen and Bailey Allen (Chambers) Ainsley Fuller (South Choctaw) and Sydney Simmons (Coosa Valley) filled out the team.

Chambers and Edgewood set the tempo for the match in the first set, battling to a 24-24 until Chambers scored back to back points, winning 26-24. The Wildcats – in the second set – were able to keep a 10-point lead and tie the match at 1-1 with the 25-15 victory.

“It feels really nice to win in my first year playing varsity volleyball,” said senior Molly Snow. “I wish I would have played sooner because it was nice to go out with a bang.”

Edgewood – in the third set – pushed ahead 13-7 forcing a Chambers timeout. The Rebels got a pep talk during their timeout and marched their way to a 25-22 victory, putting them up 2-1 in the best-of-five championship match.

Weldon was key in the fourth set, serving multiple aces in a row to lead her Wildcats to a 25-12 victory. In the finale the Wildcats rattled off a 5-1 run breaking a 3-3 stalemate on the way to the 15-7 victory.

Junior Jaylyn Strength brought the best perspective to the game: “It’s better to be involved.”

Strength sat out last season choosing to keep the book and serve as the team’s manager. But that changed this year.

“I feel more needed on the team now that I can play,” Strength said. “I love being able to create the best memories on and off the court. It feels like I’m a part of one big family.”

That family in Montgomery had an even larger, much younger, family cheering them on back in Elmore. The Edgewood Elementary students were packed into the cafeteria watching the livestream of the championship match.

Scores and stories from around Central Alabama. More than just a sports Article.

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