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HOW SWEET IT IS! Lady Eagles soar to 1st-ever title

The Pleasant Home Lady Eagles picked up their first ever state championship in any girls sport when the swept the Athens Bible Lady Trojans 3-0 on Thursday at the Class 1A volleyball state championship in Birmingham.

GAME ONE

PLEASANT HOME 25, ATHENS BIBLE 17

Pleasant Home got things rolling in the opening set of the state championship match with a 25-17 win over Athens Bible.

Bella Worley got the Lady Eagles on the board first with a tip for the first point of the game.

Worley then got an ace to put Pleasant Home up 4-0.

Athens Bible got a few points back before a kill from River Baldwin put Pleasant Home up 5-3.

Athens Bible tied the set 5-5 and then Baldwin got a kill to go up 6-5.

Things went back-and-forth between the two squads for the next several points.

Sarah Kathryn Guilford picked up a kill to put the Lady Eagles up 12-11 and then a kill from Baldwin increased the lead.

Athens Bible took a lead midway through the set before a kill from Baldwin knotted the game 15-15.

The Lady Eagles then took the lead when Peyton Huckabaa picked up a block.

The lead went up to 17-15 with a kill from Baldwin.

Pleasant Home continued to add to their lead with when Baldwin added another kill.

Worley followed with an ace and then Baldwin got a kill to go up 23-15.

The Lady Eagles then held on for 25-17 win.

GAME TWO

PLEASANT HOME 25, ATHENS BIBLE 13

The Lady Eagles moved within one game of a state championship after knocking off Athens Bible 25-13 in set two of the championship match.

Athens Bible got then first points of the game before a kill from Baldwin tied the game 1-1.

The battle went back-and-forth for the early portion of the game.

Hope Gunter got an ace to put Pleasant Home up 9-6.

Guilford followed with a kill and then another ace from Gunter put Pleasant Home up 11-6.

Pleasant Home continued to pick up the pace and a kill from Baldwin helped the Lady Eagles take a 19-8 lead.

Baldwin stretched the Pleasant Home lead up to 22-8 and then Amy Kate Bulger tacked on an ace.

Pleasant Home held off a late rally to pick up a 25-13 win.

GAME THREE

PLEASANT HOME 25, ATHENS BIBLE 20

The Pleasant Home Lady Eagles secured their first ever state championship in any sport with a 25-20 win over Athens Bible in the third game of the series.

Pleasant Home came out strong in the third game and quickly went on top 4-0.

Athens Bible got on the board for a few points and then a kill from Guilford gave the Lady Eagles a 7-3 lead.

Athens Bible inched back into the contest, but then the Lady Eagles stretched the lead up to 12-7.

Then game then went back-and-forth for the next several minutes.

Athens Bible trimmed the Pleasant Home lead down to 16-15 before a surge from the Lady Eagles pushed their lead up to 21-15.

The Lady Eagles continued to push through as they came away with a 25-20 win to win the state title.

“We got a little flat there early,” Pleasant Home head coach Tony Wilson said. “I’m not trying to play the superstition thing, but all three matches this weekend we have gone receive, server and receive. It seemed to have worked for us. We play better when we receive and the girls did an outstanding job serving.”

Wilson said he was proud of the way his team battled.

“We got down there three or four points and all season we’ve said we have to set the tone and build a cushion,” Wilson said. “We got that cushion and built on it. We built off of that. The second match it was much of the same. After that first match, we had a lot of confidence. In the third one, we swapped a few points here and there. When we get to 16 (points) that’s our number. When we get to single digits and we are ahead, I like our chances. I felt confident and I have two great girls that know how to hit the ball. It was awesome.”

Pleasant Home’s Baldwin, Huckabaa, Guilford and Worley were all named to the All-Tournament team. Baldwin was named MVP for the tournament.

“It means the world to me,” Baldwin said of winning a state championship. “We always knew that we could do it. We’ve had the same potential every year, but when got to this point this year it has never felt so real. I was overwhelmed with emotion (prior to the match). The second we touched the floor our nerves were calmed. We knew that we could just play our game like we have all season. If we did that, we knew we could win a state championship.”