Paris coach Jordan Devine tried to warn her team about Saturday’s outcome with Alma.
She it saw it coming Thursday.
The Airedalettes’ Josephine Meinardus capped a 14-15, 25-17, 15-10 upset of Paris in the finals of the Alma Invitational Saturday with two of her six aces as Alma avenged a loss to the Lady Eagles from a year ago.
Paris (7-1) rallied from a two-set deficit to beat Mena on Thursday. Saturday, they weren’t able to counter Meinardus’ hot hand.
A series of uncharacteristic Paris errors added to Alma’s comeback.
“The way we’ve been playing, I knew it was going to happen,” Devine said. “We’re having a hard time putting multiple sets together right now. (But), I’d rather feel this now than at the end of the season.”
The Airedalettes, who faced Huntsville on Monday, were out of their element in the first set, falling victim to a series of Ryleigh Hardwicke smashes.
But Alma jumped ahead, 16-7, in the second game, withstood a Paris comeback, and pulled away to even the match.
“We learned that it’s not going to be easy and that it’s going to be tough,” Meinardus said of the team’s opening loss. “I think it was a camaraderie. We all got together and said no, ‘We’re not going to lose.’
“We felt like we had fought this hard and we were going to make it.”
Faith Mainer’s block capped a 7-0 run and sent Paris on its way in the first set.
But two kills from Warnock, a kill by London Blackwell and Maddie Terry’s ace helped the Airedalettes build a 16-7 lead in the second game.
After Paris fought back to within 16-13, Meinardus and Kailyn Tyler helped extend the lead to 18-13.
Meinardus finished with a team-high 12 kills.
“She has been one of our leaders for every match for us, and she definitely stepped up and took over,” Alma coach Kathy Jones said. “I’m really excited, because Paris is an amazing team. To beat a time like Paris is a huge boost for us going into conference in a couple of weeks.”
Warnock finished with seven kills and and senior Sianna Raja added 17 assists.
Alma libero Brooklyn Schultes added 16 digs.
“It means a lot, especially with it being our home tournament, but we didn’t win it last year,” Meinardus said. “We were coming back to get our title.”
Hardwicke led Paris with 11 kills and three blocks.