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Panthers host, win JHS Invitational tournament

Jemison’s volleyball team rebounded from an early loss to Shelby County High School to knock off the Wildcats in the finals of the Jemison Panther Invitational tournament on Saturday, the first time the host team has captured the tournament title in several years.

Shelby County 25-26, Jemison 20-24

In the opening round of pool play, SCHS took advantage of a pile of Jemison passing errors to take the straight-set win.

Tournament champs: Jemison used a rematch win over Shelby County to win the Panther Invitational volleyball tournament.

Tournament champs: Jemison used a rematch win over Shelby County to win the Panther Invitational volleyball tournament.

JHS made things interesting in Set 2 but fell just short and was in danger of being forced out of the elimination round and into the consolation match.

Keegan Robinson led the Panthers with four kills, while Emily Spain and Cassini Steele added three apiece. Steele also contributed a pair of blocks, and Spain chipped in nine assists.

Jemison 25-19-15, Montevallo 14-25-13

In one of the more exciting matches of the day, JHS had a dominating performance in the first set, posting a season-high five blocks to run away with a 25-14 win.

The Panther passing game went south again in Set 2, however, as the Bulldogs forced Set 3 with a 25-19 victory. Set 3 went back and forth, but Jemison’s front row proved too strong, as the Panthers advanced to elimination play with a 15-13 escape.

Steele led the attack this time with seven kills, while C.C. Wright added five kills and three solo blocks. Ashley Dutton contributed nine assists, while Taylor Ray and Kelsey Lowery added a pair of service aces each.

Jemison 25-25, Chilton County 20-17

Steele once again carried the load at the net, totaling eight kills in 13

attempts, while Lowery served the Tigers off the court with five aces in Set 1 alone. Kelson Cole tallied seven digs from the back row, while Spain dished out eight assists for Jemison.

Jemison 26-25, Shelby County 24-20

The Panthers got the rematch they wanted in the finals, meeting up with Shelby County for the second time in a matter of hours.

Steele was once again nearly unstoppable, posting six kills in the two-set match. With C.C. Wright sidelined with a shoulder injury, it was Taylor Ray who stepped up at the net to add four kills and four digs to help the cause. Setters Spain and Dutton contributed eight and seven assists, respectively, while Cole served up a pair of aces and had seven digs.