The Enterprise Lady Cats (32-15) saw their 2019 volleyball season come to a close on Wednesday, Oct. 30, in a 3-1 loss to the Hoover Lady Bucs (34-14) in the Class 7A State Quarterfinals in Birmingham.
Enterprise went down 2-0 to Hoover – losing the first two sets 25-20 and 25-16 – before coming back to win the third set 25-23 and then ultimately falling in the fourth set 25-17.
“I could not have asked for them to put forth more effort than they did,” Enterprise coach Janie Wiggins said. “They fought hard all four sets and left it all on the floor.”
Enterprise senior Morgan Harrelson filled up the stat sheet with one ace, six kills, three blocks, 14 assists and eight digs, while fellow senior Ali Wiggins had 13 kills, two blocks, 10 assists and 15 digs. Tatiana Bonilla – also a senior – had a team-high 25 digs.
Senior Rhiannon Keck chipped in with five kills, one block and seven digs, as well.
The Lady Cats finished the season as area champions for the eighth time under Janie Wiggins and made it to the Elite 8 for the sixth consecutive time under her.
“I felt like we peaked at the right time,” Janie Wiggins said. “With the different tournaments we went to we saw what areas we needed to focus on based on the different competition we faced there.
“I felt like from the beginning of the summer to the state tournament we came a long way with tremendous work ethic leading to success on the court.
“I got the same at practice (from the players) as they gave during games, which is all you can really ask for.”
The Lady Cats were led by five seniors – Harrelson, Ali Wiggins, Bonilla, Keck and Addy Thompson – and at a recent team meeting it was evident just what impact those seniors had.
“We had a really good session with the team (recently) and each individual gave their opinions and shared their heart on what they felt like the season meant to them,” Janie Wiggins continued. “All of the underclassmen shared about the (senior) leadership of this team and about how hard they worked and the tough love they gave that pushed them to be their best but always in a loving way.
“The leadership and correction they gave came from the heart and to help them not to be mean or ugly. They also led by example and the underclassmen saw the effort they put in at practice, which made them put forth that same effort.”
Janie Wiggins said her underclassmen were moved by the leadership from those seniors and want to continue to build on the foundation those seniors helped lay.
“They want to continue to build on that once the seniors are gone,” she said. “It really instilled in them what leadership is and how important it is.
“Not only (did the seniors) love them but they helped lead and guide them on the court and really worked for (the team) to be one unit instead of a bunch on individuals. It was very evident to the underclassmen what they had in this senior group.”
Harrelson had another big year for the Lady Cats with 208 kills, 78 aces, 25 blocks, 339 digs and 432 assists. Harrelson ended her career with more 1,000 digs.
Ali Wiggins finished the year with 396 kills, 286 digs, 43 aces, 425 assists and 42 blocks. For her career, Ali Wiggins had 980 kills, 906 digs and 2,016 assists.
Bonilla finished out the season with a team-high 433 digs along with 55 aces and three kills. She finished her career with 837 digs and 96 aces.
It’s no wonder those three will also be playing at the college level and possibly even together. Ali Wiggins and Bonilla have committed to Coastal Alabama-South in Bay Minette, while Harrelson has also been offered by Coastal though she is still undecided on her destination.
Fellow seniors Keck and Thompson are also receiving tryouts at Southern Union later this month, meaning that all five of Enterprise’s 2019 seniors could be playing at the college level next season.