Briarwood ends season with victory

Briarwood Christian's Jennie Reese (12) and Madison Chambers (33) leap to block a kill attempt by Tuscaloosa County's Savannah Helus in the Lions' 3-1 win on Oct. 16. (Reporter photo/Mickel Ponthieux)

By MICKEL PONTHIEUX / Sports Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – The Briarwood Christian volleyball team celebrated senior night with a 3-1 (25-19, 25-14, 21-25, 25-11) victory over Tuscaloosa County on Oct. 16.

“It was a very emotional night for us,” said Briarwood head coach Tien Le. “Overall I thought we did very well staying focused with Tuscaloosa County.”

The Lions began the night with a 25-19 set one victory where they fought off a 7-1 rally by Tuscaloosa County to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

Briarwood (21-18, 3-3) jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second set and closed the set with a 7-1 rally of their own to take a 2-0 lead.

The Lions appeared ready to sweep Tuscaloosa County when they took a 10-4 lead to start the third set. The visitors rallied to even the set at 16, then went on a 9-5 run to close the game to take a 25-21 win to force a fourth set.

Briarwood regained control early in the last set when it took an 11-2 lead. Tuscaloosa County fought back with a 5-2 run, but was held to just three points the rest of the match. The Lions closed the fourth with a 12-3 rally to capture the 25-11 fourth set win for the 3-1 match victory.

“In the third set we had a focus issue to let them come back,” said Le. “Give Tuscaloosa County credit in taking advantage. I was glad to see the kids bounced back really strong in the fourth set winning 25-11.”

Jennie Reese led Briarwood with nine kills with seniors Mariah Light and Adeline Reiser each adding six kills. Reiser finished with a team-high 21 assists while Hope Donohue led the defense with 18 digs.

Briarwood will prepare for the Class 5A, Area 9 tournament where they will take on Ramsay as the No. 2 seed. Le said the win over Tuscaloosa County gives his team the push they need headed into the tournament.

“We played a very fast paced tournament this weekend,” said Le. “I think that will help prepare us for Thursday and (we have) the confidence of the win tonight. I think we are ready for it.

“We hope that we can play our best game and the result will take care of itself.”