Wilson volleyball 2

Wilson's Sidney Bevis (14) and Freya Collier (28) jump to block Priceville's Elizabeth Halbrooks during a tri-match earlier this season. Central is hosting Wilson, Deshler and Rogers in the Class 4A, Area 16 tournament Monday. [MATT MCKEAN/TIMESDAILY]

Rogers volleyball coach Kitty Beavers doesn’t mince words when it comes to Monday’s Class 4A, Area 16 volleyball tournament.

“I’m going to be honest, I would put our area up with the best in the state right now,” Beavers said in regard to now competitive the four-team area is.

Area 16 annually produces at least one and usually two Elite Eight qualifiers while at least one good team doesn’t make it out of the area tournament. This year has been no different, as regular-season matches between Central, Wilson, Deshler and Rogers typically went five close sets.

On Monday, two teams will survive the first round of area tournament play to qualify for the North Super Regional. From there, don’t be surprised to see both Area 16 representatives to play their way to the Elite Eight in Birmingham. Last season, Wilson and Central made it. The year before that, it was Wilson and Deshler advancing.

““I’ve said all year that it’s going to come down to Oct. 21,” Central coach Andrew Murphy said. “It could be any one of us because it has been really competitive this year between us.”

Beavers, whose team finished fourth in the regular-season standings, agreed.

“The best team that is playing that day is going to win it because we all our so close and every game is intense,” she said.

Central won the regular-season title and is hosting the area tournament. The Wildcats play Rogers in the semifinals. Wilson and Deshler play in the other semifinal, with the winners meeting in the championship.

“It’s going to come down to who wants it more,” said Wilson first year head coach Courtney Michael. “Whoever shows up will win. Nobody is an easy team to beat.”

Deshler is looking to atone for not advancing last season past the area tournament, and coaches agree there is a mutual respect among them.

“We are all friends but we understand the hard work that we put into our teams,” Deshler coach Jana Killen.

All area tournaments will be played Monday and Tuesday, with the top two teams advancing to the North Super Regional in Huntsville.

Area tournament schedules

Monday

Class 1A, Area 14

At Phillips

Covenant Christian vs. Belgreen, 4 p.m.

Hackleburg vs. Phillips, 5 p.m.,

Championship, 6 p.m.

Class 1A, Area 16

At Mars Hill

Mars Hill vs. Shoals Christian, 4:30 p.m.

Cherokee vs. Waterloo, 5:30 p.m.

Championship, 6:30 p.m.

Class 3A, Area 16

At Lexington

Clements vs. Lauderdale County, 3:30 p.m.

Lexington vs. Colbert Heights, 4:30 p.m.

Championship, 5:30 p.m.

Class 4A, Area 15

At Elkmont

West Limestone vs. Brooks, 4 p.m.

Brooks/West Limestone winner vs. Elkmont, 5 p.m.

Class 4A, Area 16

At Central

Central vs. Rogers, 4 p.m.

Wilson vs. Deshler, 5 p.m.

Championship, 6 p.m.

Class 5A, Area 14

At Lawrence County

Lawrence County vs. Hamilton, 4 p.m.

West Point vs. Russellville, 5:15 p.m.

Championship, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday

Class 2A, Area 16

At Hatton

Sheffield vs. Colbert County, 2 p.m.

Hatton vs. Sheffield/Colbert County winner, 3”15 p.m.

Tanner vs. Decatur Heritage, 4:30 p.m.

Championship 6 p.m.

Class 6A, Area 15

At Muscle Shoals

Athens vs. Columbia, 4:30 p.m.

Athens/Columbia winner vs. Muscle Shoals, 5:30 p.m.

Class 7A, Area 8

At Bob Jones

Florence vs. Bob Jones, 2:30 p.m.

Austin vs. James Clemens, 4 p.m.

Championship, 5:30 p.m.

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