DeKALB – The Chamblee Lady Bulldogs broke a string of three consecutive runner-up finishes in the fifth annual DeKalb County Spikefest Volleyball Tournament with a 25-23, 25-19 win over the Decatur Lady Bulldogs in the tournament championship game on Saturday at Chamblee.
Chamblee won the inaugural Spikefest in 2014, but finished as runner-up in 2015 and 2016 to Dunwoody while falling to Decatur in the Gold Bracket championship in 2017.
Leading 10-9 in the first game, Chamblee (4-0) went on a 6-0 run to go up 16-9. Decatur battled back to tie the game at 17-17 and 18-18 before a Jade Watson spike on an assist from Ava Grace Samford and an Erin Carpenter block at the net started a 5-0 run for the Lady Bulldogs.
Decatur staved off two set points before Samford set up tournament Most Valuable Player Becca Evans for the put away to seal a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three championship match.
Evans had three big kills in the second game as the Lady Bulldogs built a 23-15 lead. Decatur answered with three consecutive points to make it 23-18 before Samford had a nice touch shot at the net into an open court to give Chamblee match point at 24-18.
Decatur’s Annalisa Mendoza helped stave off the match point with a big hit off a Chamblee blocker to close the gap to 24-19. Evans then completed her MVP performance with a shot off a Decatur defender that bounced out of reach of any other player for the championship point.
“We have hosted the Spikefest tournament here at Chamblee for the last three years. It’s a lot of work but we enjoy playing in our gym and I think most of the other teams do too,” Chamblee’s head coach said to ReporterDarius.com staff. “We won the tournament the first year they had it then placed second the next three so it was very gratifying to win it again.”
Chamblee won four consecutive matches for the titles including wins over Tucker (25-4, 25-2), Druid Hills (25-8, 25-9) and Lakeside (25-17, 25-8).
Decatur finished 3-1 in the tournament with wins over Cedar Grove (25-3, 25-12), Dunwoody (25-23, 25-19) and Redan (25-12, 25-11).
Dunwoody (6-1), the 2015 overall champion and Gold Bracket champ in 2016, defeated the Lakeside Lady Vikings (3-2) 25-16, 25-17 in the consolation finals at Chamblee to take third in the tournament.
The Wildcats pulled away from a 16-14 lead with a 9-2 run to finish the first game to take a 1-0 lead in the consolation finals. A similar 9-3 run finished out the match for the third-place trophy.
Dunwoody was 5-1 in the tournament with wins over Southwest DeKalb (25-10, 25-9), Cedar Grove (25-5, 25-15), Southwest DeKalb again (25-12, 25-15) and Redan (25-7, 25-2). The only loss was a tough 25-23, 25-19 loss to Decatur.
Lakeside was 3-2 in the tournament including wins over Cross Keys (25-1, 25-6), Clarkston (25-15, 25-16) and Arabia Mountain (25-5, 25-20). The first loss was a 25-17, 25-8 loss to Chamblee in the semifinals.
Becca Evans (MVP)
Camille Van Leer
Marbeth Cheathem contributed to this report