Eagles, Lions, Huskies perform well at OMHS volleyball tourney

Published 12:33 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – While the Thompson Warriors ended up winning the 2018 Oak Mountain Volleyball Tournament, there were other positives to take away from Briarwood, Helena and Oak Mountain, who all had unbelievable performances as well on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24-25.

Starting with the host Oak Mountain Eagles, who made a run all the way to the championship before losing to the Warriors, each team made a run to at least a semifinal match.

For Oak Mountain, the tournament started out with two dominant sweeps on Friday, Aug. 24, to kick off the tournament, starting with a 2-0 (25-5, 25-17) win against the Briarwood Lions.

That was followed by a 2-0 sweep of Hewitt-Trussville in dominant fashion as well, taking down the Huskies 25-8 and 25-13, to move to 2-0 in pool play thanks to four straight sets won.

The following morning, Oak Mountain came back looking to win the No. 1 seed out of Pool B, but found itself facing off against a veteran Helena team.

In a three-set match, the Huskies pulled off a 2-1 (25-20, 22-25, 15-13) thrilling victory to advance as the No. 1 seed out of the pool.

Oak Mountain, however, bounced back with a big win against Hartselle, the No. 1 seed out of Pool A, thanks to a sweep featuring wins of 25-17 in each set.

That advanced the Eagles to the championship match against Thompson, which saw a competitive first game, but ultimately, the Eagles lost that first set 29-27 and went on to lose the second set 25-12 to drop the championship match.

For the Helena Huskies, it was also a strong tournament despite not bringing home the overall championship.

Like Oak Mountain and Thompson, Helena started the tournament 2-0 with wins against Briarwood and Hewitt-Trussville.

The first match against the Lions saw Helena pull off a sweep with wins of 25-14 and 25-12 to start the tournament 1-0. That was followed shortly after by another easy sweep of Hewitt by finals of 25-18 and 25-15.

With those two wins, the Huskies advanced to the Pool B championship against the host Eagles the following day, which they won 25-20, 22-25, 15-13, to advance as the No. 1 seed out of the pool.

After the 3-0 start to the tournament, Helena was forced to play Thompson in its semifinal matchup thanks to the Warriors dropping a tight contest against Hartselle in pool play.

Despite a great effort in the first set against the Warriors, Helena went on to drop it 26-24, and also fell in the second set by a final of 25-11 to end the tournament short of their ultimate goal.

After dropping both of its matches to Oak Mountain and Helena on the opening night of the tournament, the Briarwood Lions were able to bounce back on Saturday, Aug. 25, to claim the Silver Bracket championship.

Briarwood put together three straight sweeps against The Altamont School, Shades Valley and Hewitt-Trussville to go 3-0 on the final day with all but one of its set wins being by seven points or more.

All three teams were able to show positive signs moving into the first full week of the regular season.