Lions earn return trip to Elite Eight

Briarwood Christian School sophomore Georgia Muir-Taylor and junior Mariah Light, from left, attempt to block a Spanish Fort attack in the Lions' victory Oct. 20. (Reporter Photo/Wesley Hallman)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY — Briarwood Christian School senior Logan Nasworthy didn’t panic when the Lions dropped the opening set in an Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A sub-state match Oct. 20 against Spanish Fort.

With a raucous crowd cheering for the Lions, the veteran knew she and her youthful teammates could feed off the energy coming from just a few feet away from the net.

Following Briarwood Christian’s 22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-16 win over Spanish Fort, Nasworthy credited the Lions’ student section for helping the team clinch a return trip to the Class 5A Elite Eight. The Lions will face Curry in a Class 5A quarterfinal match Oct. 26 at 11 a.m. at the Pelham Civic Complex.

“I think (Spanish Fort) was a really good test,” Nasworthy said. “Our fans really pulled us through.”

Junior Mariah Light led the Lions with 15 kills in the victory. Light also recorded one dig.

Nasworthy chipped in a double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs. Nasworthy also recorded four service aces and two blocks.

Freshman Lauren Palmer contributed five kills, three blocks and one dig. Freshman Madison Chambers finished with four kills.

Senior Carly Cline posted 10 digs and two service aces. Junior Lizzie Baumbach finished with 10 digs and one service ace. Sophomore Hope Donohue added four digs and three service aces.

Junior Adeline Reiser finished with two kills, one service ace and one block to go along with a team-high 35 assists. Sophomore Georgia Muir-Taylor chipped in two digs and one block. Freshman Rachel Nix finished with one dig.

After dropping the opening set the Toros 25-22, the Lions (26-21) swept three consecutive sets to send the visitors back to Mobile.

Briarwood Christian got the rally started in the second set, which ended with a kill by Nasworthy that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Briarwood Christian coach Tien Le, who was going up against his longtime mentor in Tammy Richardson in the sub-state match, said he was proud of the Lions for rallying after the first set.

“Spanish Fort played really, really well,” Le said. “I’m very proud of my girls. My assistant coaches also did a great job about pointing out adjustments we needed to make. Without them, no doubt we would have lost.”