Calera sweeps 2017 area championship

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

CALERA – Calera made easy work of Jemison and Dallas County on its way to the 2017 Class 5A, Area 6 Championship on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at Calera High School as the Eagles won both matches in straight sets.

The Eagles got the right to host the area tournament after a strong season in area play that saw them finish perfect against area opponents Jemison, Marbury and Dallas County.

Calera opened the tournament with a matchup against Dallas County, who the Eagles had yet to drop a set to in the regular season. That success continued in the championship match on their way to an easy straight-set victory of the Hornets.

The first set was the closest of the three and was a battle for a short period of time, but the Eagles were able to run away to a 25-17 win in the set to take a quick 1-0 lead.

That’s all of the confidence Calera needed moving forward as the Eagles won the next two sets by a combined 50-10. They picked up a 25-6 win in the second set and a 25-4 win in the third set on their way to the 3-0 sweep.

The semifinal win not only propelled Calera into the area championship match, but also the super regionals, as the Eagles look to make a run to the state tournament.

First and foremost, however, was the area tournament final, which took place after the completion of the Jemison/Marbury semifinal match. The Eagles couldn’t have asked for a more perfect situation between those two teams.

After Calera picked up a straight-set victory, they got to sit back and watch Jemison and Marbury battle in a thrilling five set match that would tire the eventual winning team out heading to the championship.

Jemison won the first two sets 25-15 and 25-17, respectively, but Marbury came back to win the next two sets in tight fashion as each ended 25-23 in favor of Marbury. Tied at two sets apiece, Jemison won the tie-breaking fifth set 15-11 to advance to the championship match.

Calera had plenty of time to rest after its win over Dallas County before playing in the title match, but Jemison was forced right back into action after an exhausting five-set win.

The Panthers were able to put up a strong fight, but still ended up getting swept in straight sets as Calera became the 2017 area championship.

The Eagles came out and took the first set 25-17 after playing from in front the entire way. Set two was much tighter as Calera sneaked out a 25-22 win and the heartbreaking loss in the set as well as the exhaustion setting in, seemed to be the final straw for the Panthers.

Calera came out and handled business in the third set, winning 25-17, to win the title.

The Eagles didn’t drop a set in the tournament and will look to carry that momentum into the super regionals on Friday.