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Cliff Williams / The Herald Edgewood celebrates a point against Lowndes Academy in the state championship match.

When Edgewood Academy senior Elena Adams spiked the ball into the middle of the Lowndes defense last Wednesday afternoon, she capped off arguably the greatest volleyball season in Edgewood Academy history.

Her kill gave Edgewood Academy a 3-0 win over Lowndes Academy in the AISA Class AA championship at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex in Montgomery.

The win is Edgewood’s fourth consecutive state championship and the sixth championship in the last seven years for the program.

Head coach David DeLozier has been the coach for each of the last three championships, and despite losing prominent senior classes each year, his teams continue to get better and better and keep winning.

“It’s a big deal for us as a school and us as a team,” DeLozier said of continuing the championship run. “We take pride in the fact that we train at a high level, compete at a high level, and carry ourselves with confidence. We train like it and we act like it. Even though we win and we’re used to winning, we don’t take it for granted and that’s really hard to do. …”

“I’m proud of the fact that we come out and we do our job and we do our job well.

Each one of the DeLozier’s three teams have been fantastic, and that’s evident with the team ending the year hoisting a trophy.

But the 2022 Edgewood Academy team was different.

From start to finish, this year’s Lady Wildcats team was as dominant as they could be. They started the season as the No. 1-ranked team in the state, and they proved why. The opening two matches of the season were the two closest games, when they edged by Glenwood, the eventual Class AAA champion, with a 3-2 final score.

That was the start of a special season. Edgewood went on to beat every single team they faced from the state of Alabama. Not a single team that the Lady Wildcats faced could beat them. In fact, only Glenwood was able to even take two sets from the team.

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They were nearly able to remain undefeated throughout the entire season, but Edgewood played in some very tough tournaments featuring public schools from the states of Mississippi and Florida.

They competed in all of those tournaments, winning as many games there as they lost, but did suffer a few losses. But that made the team better when they returned to face AISA schools and it showed in the playoffs.

In the three matches in the state tournament, Edgewood only lost one set as they beat Pickens in the quarterfinals 3-0 (25-5, 25-16, 25-11), Macon East in the semifinals 3-1 (22-25, 25-12, 25-13, 25-18) and Lowndes in the finals 3-0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-18).

“This is the best team I’ve coached,” DeLozier said. “We took them out of state and beat some public schools. This team could compete at a really high level. This is the best team I’ve had since I’ve been at Edgewood. I’m proud of that and I’m proud of the fact that we just continue to roll and keep cruising and keep getting better and keep upping the standard.”

The Lady Wildcats’ had the make up any coach would want on their team. The Lady Wildcats were headlined by junior star Lindsey Brown, who is currently committed to play for the University of Alabama and is arguably the best player in AISA.

She, who has been the team’s main hitter the last few seasons, played more of an all-around role this year and excelled on defense. She came up and played at the net when she needed to, and she played at a high level.
But the net was patrolled by some height and heavy hitters such as junior Madison Martin and seniors Adams and Karlee Mainor.

Adams and Mainor were two of five seniors on the roster this season, and all of them left their mark on the program and left the program better than when they joined.

The five seniors were Adams, Mainor, Jaylyn Strength, Samantha Wheat, and Emma Claire Moulton. Some of them joined the team later than others, but the majority of them have known nothing but winning as they leave the program with up to four rings the last four seasons.

DeLozier has seen each of those five girls improve over the three years he’s been the head coach, and he’s proud of each one of them and the way they ended their careers.

“This group means so much to me because I’ve had them for three years,” DeLozier said. “It’s been a long journey with some of them, but I think they’ve enjoyed the ride and the progress they’ve made along the way. I’m really proud of how far they’ve come.”