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Demopolis volleyball wins Class 5A, Area 5 title

Demopolis High School (7-9) won the Class 5A, Area 5 championship Tuesday with a thrilling five-match victory over Selma.

The decisive game saw the Lady Tigers pick up a 15-12 win after falling behind 3-0 to open the contest. DHS coach Blythe Smith called a timeout to settle her team.

After breaking Selma’s serve to cut the deficit to 3-1, Martina Smith changed up her serve and fired a pair of underhanded deliveries that helped Demopolis tie the game at 3-3. The Lady Tigers fell behind 4-3 when Smith’s serve was broken, but quickly rallied and never trailed again.

“It gives it the momentum that it needs, not only going into regionals but building a program for next year and the year after that,” Blythe Smith said of what the area championship means to the developing program. “It gives the girls something tangible to hold onto, to have as a goal.”

The game five win followed a 25-12 Demopolis victory in game four when DHS had been trailing two games to one.

“They just flipped a switch and started communicating and working together. And they really found some team chemistry,” Smith said. “I’ve seen them work that hard with the Thomasville games. But I don’t think the team chemistry was as good in Thomasville as it was (Tuesday). They reach their potential when they work that hard.”

The Lady Tigers won the first game of the night 26-24 after rallying from a 19-15 disadvantage, closing the match on a pair of Keona Branch serves.

The second game of the evening saw the Lady Tigers lose 25-13.

In the t hird game, Demopolis held a 24-22 lead late before a handful of errors allowed Selma to win 26-24.

Demopolis will play again Saturday at the regional tournament. The location and time of that draw has yet to be determined.