HANCEVILLE – Wallace State volleyball coach Randy Daniel believes a regular season championship is more difficult to achieve than a conference tournament title.
If so, the Lions continue to make it look easy. Wallace State clinched the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) regular season title for the seventh consecutive season on Thursday night, prevailing 25-22, 25-17, 25-14 over Faulkner State at Tom Drake Coliseum.
"It's always good to win another one. I've always said this is harder than winning a postseason tournament because you have to win on an opponents' home court during the regular season. It's a goal we talk about each year and fortunately we've been able to accomplish it once again. You've got to give credit to our players," said Daniel, who has led the Lions to seven titles in eight seasons. "I'm not sure what the explanation is as to why we are able to sustain it. We just have an expectation to win and try to bring in quality recruits each year."
Wallace State (31-8, 13-0 ACCC) has been downright dominant inside league play this season and is yet to lose a single set to a conference foe. The Lions have one ACCC match left at Gadsden State on Wednesday.
"It's a great feeling to know we've continued this winning tradition by winning the conference. We want to continue to get better for the (conference) tournament," said Wallace State sophomore outside hitter Montana Clark, who finished Thursday's match with a team-high 20 digs and five kills. "We know we're going to get everyone's best game when we hit the court."
BreAnna Thompson had 15 kills and a pair of blocks in the victory for Wallace State, Syretha Pride finished with 14 kills and six digs, Bethany Johnson had 10 kills, Alexandra Gamble had a team-high 20 assists, Kaci Kirk added 15 assists, Sarah Ellen Battles had 10 digs and Savanna Tidwell added seven digs.
Faulkner State didn't make it easy for the Lions, especially in the first set. Wallace State trailed 12-8 early on before rallying to take a slim 16-15 advantage.
Faulkner State then forced five ties with the latest one coming at 21-all. Wallace State closed the set on a 4-1 run.
Wallace State never trailed in the final two sets.
"Faulkner State's ball control is excellent. If they are scoring points when they are attacking, they are really tough to beat. We know it's always going to be a competitive match against Faulkner State," Daniel said.
With Thursday's victory, Wallace State clinched the top seed in the ACCC/Region 22 conference tournament, which will be hosted by the Lions on Nov. 1-2. Wallace State will be seeking its sixth consecutive conference title.