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AIR BAILEY: Chambers Academy freshman Bailey Allen attempts an attack on Thursday afternoon in the state semifina against Eastwood. Photo by Rashad Milligan

Young Chambers Academy volleyball team falls to experienced Eastwood in Final Four

MONTGOMERY — The season for the Chambers Academy volleyball team came to an end on Thursday afternoon against Eastwood, as the Rebels lost in straight sets by a score of 11-25, 17-25 and 19-25.

“It took us a minute to get going, but once we got going, it was there,” Chambers Academy head volleyball coach Jaylan Reynolds said. “They played their heart out, they couldn’t have played any harder in that last game for sure, and there’s nothing to be angry about. They did what they could, sometimes you just don’t get it. Hopefully, next year they will.”

The Rebels were met by a surge of powerful attacks by the Warriors of Eastwood that led to many shanked balls for Chambers Academy. There was a large local crowd that stood and cheered for Eastwood, located in Montgomery, throughout the duration of the match. The supporters and student section got louder and louder after every Warrior point.

Chambers also had a strong showing, including many parents, older students, school athletic director Jason Allen and headmaster David Owen in the stands who yelled loudly for the Rebels behind Chambers’ bench.

“It was fantastic. I’d love to have that every single game with that energy brought,” Reynolds said. “It helps the girls in a positive manner when we have that support. I’m hoping that we’ll have a lot of people turning out for home games next year, and maybe even traveling to some away games.”

Sophomore Britten Stephens led the team with four kills and two aces. Freshman Bailey Allen contributed three blocks, two kills and one ace. Freshman Chloe Mitcham added two aces in the effort, as well. Senior J’Angelica Abney ended her high school career with a block in the match. Allen was named to the all-tournament team at the conclusion of play on Thursday.

This season marks up year one for the 24-year-old Reynolds.

“There were ups and downs for sure, but I think I’m slowly getting a handle on things,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to be ready for next year. Ready to go.”

Next season should have many returners, as the this year’s Rebels carried a roster of eight freshmen, six sophomores and five juniors.

The program’s junior varsity squad, which was headlined by varsity players Bailey Allen, Claire Allen and Mitcham, won the state championship a week and a half ago.

Looking forward wasn’t the immediate thought the team had after losing on Thursday, however.

“It’s definitely hard to look toward the future, but you just have to keep going on and know that there is something ahead,” Reynolds said.