• Oct. 28, 2020 — The Mountain Brook High School volleyball team captured its second straight state championship on Wednesday at Bill Harris Arena in Birmingham. The Spartans swept Hartselle in three sets (25-11, 25-15, 25-16) to capture the Class 6A state crown. 

    “I am just so proud of this group of girls,” MBHS head coach Vickie Nichols said. “We have fought so hard all year to make it to the end.” 

    The victory marked Mountain Brook’s fifth state title since 2014. The Spartans won three consecutive 7A state championships from 2014-16 and then another in 2019. This was the team’s first in 6A after the Alabama High School Athletic Association modified Mountain Brook’s classification before the 2020-2021 school year. 

    “This has been our goal since day one of summer practices, and we knew it was going to be a battle,” senior Celie Field said. “But we had a vision, we stuck with our goal, and we finished.” 

    Mountain Brook defeated a pair of stout opponents on Tuesday to reach the state final. It beat John Carroll Catholic 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-17) in the quarterfinals and Hazel Green 3-2 (23-25, 27-25, 26-24, 15-25, 15-9) in the semifinals. 

    The Spartans lost to Hazel Green in the regional tournament last week but found a way to win with a trip to the state championship on the line.  

    “The girls just never quit,” Nichols said. “That’s the most heart and grit that we’ve played with the entire season, and we peaked at the right time."

    The outcome on Wednesday was never in doubt. Mountain Brook established comfortable leads in each set before pulling away. 

    Senior Evelyn King tallied 16 digs in the final and was named state tournament MVP. Field and Lilly Gilbert joined her on the all-state-tournament team. 

    “It means everything because this is my last year, and I really wanted to go out with a bang,” King said, “and that’s exactly what we did.” 

    The Spartans finished the season with a 34-12 record. The team consisted of King, Field, Gilbert, Hannah Parant, Greer Golden, Megan Lee, Alexandra Carlson, Lucy Redden, Sims Kilgore, and Hannah Hitson.  

    Nichols’ assistant coaches were Mattie Gardner and Madi Mahaffey. 

    “It took all 10 of us to get what we did,” Nichols said of her players. “A lot of teams, they ride on one or two people, but we did not. It took 10 people the entire season to get to the end, and I think that’s what won it for us, because we depended on each other. Nobody could stop 10 of us. They could stop one or two, but they can’t stop all of us.”