Lawrence County comes from behind to win area title

Alex Livingston returns a serve against Madison Academy 

It was like Deja-Vu for Coach Robyn Hutto. 

The Lawrence County Red Devils faced off against Madison Academy Wednesday in the finals of the Class 5A Area 15 championship. 

After taking the first set 25-21, the Red Devils quickly found themselves in a hole, down 2-1 after dropping sets two and three 25-21 and 26-24. 

It was eerily similar to a year ago when, in the finals of the area tournament against West Point, Lawrence County also got down 2-1.

"When we lost the third set I came to them and told them y'all like five sets so go ahead and finish this one out so we can get to the fifth set," said Hutto. 

They did just that, winning the fourth set and then winning the fifth to claim the championship, just as they did a year ago against the Warriors. 

However, this time was not as easy. 

After building a 18-9 lead in the fourth, the Mustangs came roaring back, forcing Lawrence County to narrowly escape with a 27-25 win. 

In the final set Madison Academy took a 6-0 lead. 

The Red Devils didn't panic though, coming back to win 15-12. 

"I'm so proud of them because at 6-0 you can get that deer in the headlights," Hutto said. "They could have easily just packed it in, because win or lose, we still advance to the playoffs. But they were determined to win an area championship and that's what they did." 

Anna Clare Hutto finished with 40 assists and 18 digs. Madelyn Ray had 20 kills for Lawrence County (39-10), while Brooke Graham added 17 kills. Patti Smith had 15 digs and Skye Letson had 18 blocks.

Alex Livingston finished with 35 digs. Hutto, Graham and Smith were named to the all-tournament team.

Despite both teams advancing winning the area is a big deal. The win allows the Red Devils to host a sub regional game, which was added this year. 

"If we had lost we would have had to travel to play Ramsay," Hutto said. "They were who we beat in the first round of state last year and they returned their whole team, so you know they would have had a chip on their shoulder playing us." 

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