Lions defeat Chelsea for area title

Briarwood Christian School senior Sara Kate Bracewell spikes the ball in the Lions' win over Chelsea in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A, Area 7 tournament championship match Oct. 12. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By DAVIS POTTER / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY — A barrage of injuries left the Briarwood Christian School volleyball team short-handed entering the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A, Area 7 tournament.

No problem.

Using a patchwork lineup, the Lions captured the area tournament championship with a 25-19, 25-16, 25-10 sweep of Chelsea High School in the tournament championship match at the Briarwood Christian School gymnasium Oct. 12.

Briarwood improved to 16-17 overall.

Adeline Reiser had a game-high 30 assists and 13 digs for the Lions, who were playing without middle hitters Katherine Briley and Lauren Palmer after both recently suffered knee injuries.

Sara Kate Bracewell chipped in 13 kills, seven digs and three service aces, and Logan Nasworthy and Kate Carter added 11 and nine kills respectively.

Briarwood's Logan Nasworthy tips the ball over Chelsea blockers during Tuesday's match. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

First year coach Tien Le said winning the area title was satisfying considering the circumstances his team dealt with.

“I’m very proud of the kids” Le said. “They all just accepted it and adjusted and just moved on.”

Chelsea coach Jamie Gill said the Lions always present a challenge regardless of who’s on the floor.

“Briarwood’s always tough to play,” Gill said. “Their fast-paced game goes well with our defense. But our girls played well.”

Emily Handley led the Hornets with eight kills and six digs in the loss. Sarah Simpson recorded six kills and six digs while Jesse Vohler totaled five digs, four kills and four assists.

Chelsea's Jesse Vohler sets the ball during the match against Briarwood. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Briarwood and Chelsea advanced to the tournament title match after sweeping the competition in the semifinal matches earlier in the day.

The Hornets used a 25-21, 25-16, 25-21 sweep to defeat Shelby County, whose season came to an end with the loss.

Handley again led Chelsea (15-24) with 15 digs, five kills and three service aces. Samantha Colyer added 12 kills and eight digs while Vohler tallied eight assists, six kills and three service aces. Simpson had seven digs and five kills.

Shelby County senior Alysia Perkins ended her Wildcat career on a high note, racking up seven blocks, five kills and two service aces while connecting on 15-of-15 serves. Brittani Morris finished 8-for-8 in serves and had six digs and two aces. Courtney Shields added four kills for the Wildcats, who finished the season with an 11-19 record.

Members of the Shelby County Wildcats volleyball team exchange hugs after their season-ending loss to Chelsea on Oct. 12. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Briarwood made easy work of Talladega High School, beating the Tigers 25-12, 25-9, 25-8.

Reiser totaled a team-high 23 assists and four digs for the Lions. Bracewell had 13 kills, five digs and two blocks. Nasworthy added 10 kills and five digs. Claire Carter tallied nine service aces.

Briarwood and Chelsea will continue posteason play Oct. 16 in regional tournament action at Central High School in Tuscaloosa, as the Lions take on Class 5, Area 5 runner-up Selma High School at 11:15 a.m. Chelsea will play Greenville High School, the Class 5A, Area 5 champion, at 10 a.m.