Photo courtesy of Jimmy Mitchell
Dig in the Park preview
The all-day Dig in the Park volleyball tournament set for Oct. 1 will include Spanish Fort, Enterprise, John Carroll Catholic, Montgomery Academy and others.
Spain Park High School hosts its annual Dig in the Park volleyball tournament Oct. 1 to kick off a frantic last few weeks of the season.
The all-day event will include Spanish Fort, Enterprise, John Carroll, Montgomery Academy and others.
“It’s going to be tough,” Spain Park head coach Kellye Bowen said.
The 16 teams will be split into four pools, with the action beginning in pool play at 8 a.m. Pool play should conclude soon after lunchtime. At that time, the teams are split into two single-elimination brackets. The top two teams in each pool move into the gold bracket, while the bottom two in each pool are placed in the silver bracket.
Each bracket will play itself out, with the plan to conclude the tournament in the evening.
In Bowen’s first two years at Spain Park, the Jags have had experience in both the silver and gold brackets, reaching the final in both sections, but have been unable to close out the win.
Bowen said she likes the combination of competition and timing that the tournament presents.
“It’s a really good tournament,” she said. “And it’s one day near the end of the season, so your kids are not exhausted.”
Spain Park has one Class 7A, Area 6 match remaining after Dig in the Park, against Mountain Brook the following week. The conclusion of the regular season also includes the Margaret Blalock Tournament at Homewood.
“Only thing you can hope for in those last tournaments is getting ready for that last area match. You don’t want to peak too high in September,” Bowen said.
The state tournament follows a similar format, forcing teams to win multiple matches in a single day. The Jags had success in a September tournament at Muscle Shoals fighting back despite an early setback.
“Our first game was a tough loss, which actually helped my kids,” Bowen said. “It motivated my kids to play better throughout the day. They responded and came back. They won five straight.”
To get to that state tournament, the Jags have a set of important dates ahead. The area tournament is Oct. 17. If they advance, super regionals are later that week, needing a win to advance to state.