Oak Mountain volleyball continues winning ways

By DREW GRANTHUM

The Oak Mountain volleyball squad entered the Eddie Preuitt  Invitational Tournament in Hartselle with momentum, having defeated Spain Park at home Sept. 12.

The Eagles swept the Jaguars in three sets, having won 25-21, 25-15 and 25-23, respectively. Hannah Beach led Oak Mountain with 12 kills, 15 assists, four aces and eight digs. Madison Pierce had nine kills, five digs and two blocks, while Brianna Rueschenberg had nine assists and five aces for the Eagles.

Entering tournament play, Oak Mountain took on Walker in the first round Sept. 13. The Eagles beat the Vikings in two sets, 26-24 and 25-16. Beach led Oak Mountain with nine kills, 11 assists and four digs, as Pierce logged seven kills and two blocks and Bailey Rueschenberg posted four kills and two blocks.

In the next round, Oak Mountain squared off with Austin High. The Eagles were able to hold the Bears at bay, sweeping the match 25-6 and 25-17. Beach posted seven kills, 11 assists and four digs. Hannah Bynum had six assists and five digs, Bailey Rueschenberg had seven kills and a block and Shayla Williams had eight digs and an ace, also for the Eagles.

On Sept. 14, Oak Mountain continued tournament play, opening up with a sweep of Danville. Beach had five kills, five assists, three aces and three digs, Pierce had five kills, three blocks and two aces and Pearson Bell had five digs for the Eagles.

The next round saw Oak Mountain take on host Hartselle in hopes of continuing its undefeated run through the tournament. It was not to be, however, as the Eagles lost 18-25 and 19-25 in two sets. Beach posted 10 kills, 10 assists, 11 digs and two aces, while Savannah Francis had six kills and two aces, Kaitlin West had four kills and two blocks and Shayla Williams had five digs and six assists in the effort.

Despite the loss, Oak Mountain moved on to the quarterfinals where it faced Austin again. It ended up a repeat of the first meeting, as the Eagles took a sweep over the Black Bears. Beach again paced Oak Mountain, this time with 13 kills, nine assists and three digs. She was joined by Francis, who had six kills and two aces, Bell, who posted nine digs and five aces and Bynum, who had 10 assists.

It took three sets for Oak Mountain to dispose of Danville in the semifinals, as it lost the opening set 20-25. The Eagles quickly turned things around, taking the final two sets by a combined score of 42-27. Beach had nine kills, nine assists, eight digs and two aces, while Bailey Rueschenberg had six kills and two blocks, Williams had four digs, four aces and two assists, Brianna Rueschenberg had seven assists and Pierce had four kills and five blocks.

With the win, Oak Mountain reached the finals to face Hartselle again. Despite a strong showing, the Eagles fell in three sets. Beach had 14 kills, 13 assists, eight digs and two aces, Pierce had six kills, three blocks and an ace, Brianna Rueschenberg had 11 assists and Williams had five digs and two assists.

Following the tournament, the Eagles are now 14-5 on the season.