Passion leads Eagles to quarterfinal win

Oak Mountain's Ashton Slawinski (12) and Amanda Marks (3) go up for a block during Wednesday's game against Baker. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

PELHAM — Oak Mountain High School junior Emily Cosgrove pounded kill after kill in the fourth set against Baker in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A quarterfinal match Oct. 26 at the Pelham Civic Complex.

Cosgrove’s slam in the center of the court late in the match sent a message. Her final kill, which sealed Oak Mountain’s 25-20, 23-25, 25-10, 25-14 win against Baker, made a statement.

“We won the passion points,” Cosgrove said. “The whole team wanted to make sure we won the fourth set. We finished it off as a team.”

The Eagles advanced to the Class 6A semifinals, where they will meet Bob Jones in a semifinal match tonight at 5:30 p.m.

Cosgrove led Oak Mountain (34-10) with a career-high 20 kills in the victory. Cosgrove also recorded five blocks, two digs, one assist and one service ace.

Senior Sara Goodwin added 10 kills and seven digs to go along with two service aces. Senior Abbi Bourque registered eight kills, two blocks and one assist.

Sophomore Hannah Beach finished with a team-high 34 assists. Beach also recorded six kills, two blocks, two digs and two service aces.

Junior Rosemary Wendel contributed a team-high nine digs to go along with 10 assists and two service aces.

The Eagles took care of business early with a 25-20 win over Baker in the opening set.

Bourque recorded a kill to give Oak Mountain a two-point edge late in the second set before Baker reeled off three consecutive points to take the set 25-23 and tie the match at 1-1.

The Eagles had little trouble in the third set. Goodwin and Bourque registered two kills each in a 4-0 run midway through the set as Oak Mountain coasted to a 25-10 win to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Eagles secured the victory with a 25-14 win in the fourth and final set when Cosgrove pounded three kills and registered a block late in the set, which sent the sea of supporters wearing white into a frenzy just a few feet away from the court.

Oak Mountain junior Hannah Kowal suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament early in the first set and will miss the remainder of the tournament.