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Senior Sendoff for Anniston’s Donoho

Senior sendoff

Anniston, AL – Donoho’s Senior Night sweep of Ranburne highlights Tuesday night’s volleyball action in and around Calhoun County

First-year Donoho coach Anna Taylor (L) stands with her five seniors (from left) Hannah Sprayberry, Lily Grace Draper, Ansley Simmons, Sarah Waggoner and Mary Marshall Perry. The longest tenured in the group have 191 wins. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)
First-year Donoho coach Anna Taylor (L) stands with her five seniors (from left) Hannah Sprayberry, Lily Grace Draper, Ansley Simmons, Sarah Waggoner and Mary Marshall Perry. The longest tenured in the group have 191 wins. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

TUESDAY’S SCORES
Donoho 3, Ranburne 0 (25-6, 25-6, 25-12)
Piedmont 3, White Plains 1
Pleasant Valley 3, Woodland 0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-19)

Faith Christian, Oxford at Wellborn
Oxford 2, Faith Christian 0 (25-7, 25-17)
Oxford 2, Wellborn 0 (25-19, 25-15)

Gaston, Ragland at Westbrook Christian
Westbrook 2, Gaston 0 (25-5, 25-15)
Westbrook 2, Ragland 0 (25-14, 25-18)

Glencoe, Spring Garden at Sand Rock
Weaver at Lincoln

By Al Muskewitz

Ansley Simmons has helped pass out the roses to her teammates as part of Donoho volleyball’s Senior Night festivities the last couple years. It was her turn to get them Tuesday night and it was an experience as thrilling as she imagined. The Lady Falcons recognized their five seniors – Simmons, Hannah Sprayberry, libero Sarah Waggoner, Mary Marshall Perry and Lily Grace Draper – prior to a 3-0 sweep of Ranburne that got them back on track after a disappointing loss in the Calhoun County Tournament quarterfinals.

In a matchup of opening-round opponents in the Class 2A Area 10 tournament Oct. 13, the Lady Falcons won 25-6, 25-6, 25-12. Pleasant Valley secured the 2-seed with a 3-0 sweep of Woodland. “I have known them and worked closely with them since some of them were in the eighth grade, so I knew what a talented bunch they were,” Lady Falcons coach Anna Taylor said. “I’ve been along as a spectator for so much, so when I had the chance to take this position those five seniors were a big selling point because they were such a great talented group with so much potential and I was eager to get to work with them.

“They’ve sort of come through on all of that. It’s been great being with them even if it has been for just one year in this new role. I’m just honored and proud of them.” Taylor’s first group of seniors has had a good run, one they hope is far from over. Over the last three years they have played for the state title three times, winning it twice. Draper and Marshall are the longest-tenured seniors, having been pulled up to the varsity at the tail end of their seventh-grade years. Together, they have been part of 191 victories. Since adding a late quad-match on Monday, the earliest they can reach No. 200 is the second-round regional match that qualifies them to go to state.

“That’ll be meaningful, especially since it’s been us from the beginning, like our group and all the seniors have been there for most of it, especially me, LG and Mary Marshall,” said Waggoner, who joined the varsity at the end of her eighth-grade year. “And the seniors last year were a huge part of that. They were a great group of girls.” The longest-standing seniors also are closing in on some career milestones. After Tuesday’s match, Draper has 1,935 kills, (most in Calhoun County according to AHSAA state records), 1,036 digs and 266 aces. Perry has 968 kills, 226 aces and 287 blocked shots. Among the underclassmen, Estella Connell reached 499 career kills with four in the match and Sam Wakefield reached 1,999 assists with 18. Current Alexandria coach Whitney (Burt) Welch holds the county career assist record at 3,772. All five seniors reflected on their experiences in the program. Here are their thoughts: [*** read more]

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