Oak Mountain volleyball headed to Final 4

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

BIRMINGHAM – A strong 2017 volleyball season for the Oak Mountain Eagles is continuing on to the Final 4 after the Eagles took down the Enterprise Wildcats in straight sets (25-15, 25-19, 25-20) on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Birmingham Crossplex.

Oak Mountain came into the match with a 48-8 overall record and the No. 3 seed out of the north, while Enterprise held a record of 32-14 and the No. 2 seed out of the south.

The match started out back-and-forth early in the first set as the two teams battled to a 7-7 tie. Oak Mountain then went on a 4-1 run to take the biggest advantage of the match at 11-8, forcing an Enterprise timeout.

Out of the timeout, Ashley Treace put together kills on all three of the Eagles next three points to keep her team in front 14-11. That was followed by a kill from Torie Denkers and an ace from Cameron Rueschenberg to extend Oak Mountain’s lead to 17-11.

The Eagles went on to win eight of the next 12 points to take the first set 25-15.

As tight as the first set was in the early going, the second set was the most compelling of the match. After a back-and-forth start, Enterprise went on its best run of the match to take a 15-12 advantage, which was the Wildcats’ largest lead of the morning.

Oak Mountain came right back, using the serve of Keller Lovvorn to go on a 6-0 run and take an 18-15 lead. The closest Enterprise was able to come the remainder of the set was an 18-18 tie, but the Eagles closed the second set with a 7-1 run to win 25-19 and take a 2-0 advantage in the match.

The Eagles used that momentum to their advantage and came out firing in the third set as they looked to seal a spot in the Final 4. It led to a 10-2 run out of the gates.

Oak Mountain eventually extended the lead to 21-10, but Enterprise showed some fight with a 9-2 run, as they battled back to cut the lead to 23-19. The Eagles, however, went on to win two of the next three points to win the final set 25-20 and complete the sweep.

Treace led the way for the Eagles in their quarterfinal match with 10 kills, 19 assists, one block and two digs. Denkers and Kaitlyn Lund added nine kills apiece, while Kendall Scharbert had six. Lund, Scharbert and Denkders also had three, two and one assist, respectively.

With the win, Oak Mountain avenged last year’s loss in the Elite 8 and advanced to take on Bob Jones in the Final 4 tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Crossplex.

Photos available at shelbycountyphotos.com