Shelby County takes down Chilton County in 5-set thriller

Published 1:46 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

CLANTON – The Shelby County Wildcats won a big regional matchup on Tuesday night in a hard fought five-set victory (20-25, 25-23, 25-14, 20-25, 15-4) on the road against the Chilton County Tigers.

A back-and-forth battle ensued from the first set as the teams battled through a four all tie before the Tigers picked up a slim 6-4 lead.

That lead was short lived as Haley Howard led a 4-0 run for the Wildcats that put Shelby County out in front 10-8. The visitors lead grew to five behind the serving of Jesse Allen, but the Tigers chipped away and pulled to within one thanks to an ace by Abigail Powell.

With the Wildcats holding a 24-20 lead, an ace by Madison Purcell gave Shelby County a 25-20 first-set win.

Purcell went on to give the Wildcats an early lead during the second set, but the Tigers roared back behind the serving of Alayna Lockhart to take an 8-5 lead.

The Chilton lead was short lived as the Wildcats answered with an 8-0 run of their own thanks for the serving of Halia O’ Leary to take a 13-8 lead.

The Tigers battled back to within one behind serving from Kristina Moore as the teams proceeded to remain neck-and-neck through a twenty-three all tie.

The Tigers picked up a one-point lead before a kill from Kristina Dennis gave Chilton a 25-23 second-set win.

A tight start to the third set finally bounced the way of the Tigers thanks to a 5-0 Chilton run. Powell later led another 5-0 run for Chilton that gave the Tigers an 18-13 lead. With Chilton leading 21-14, Alayna Lockhart took over serving duties for the Tigers and led a another 5-0 Chilton run that ended on a kill by Kiara Steele to give the Tigers a 25-14 third-set victory.

The Tigers opened the fourth set with a commanding 8-3 lead thanks to a pair of aces by Lockhart along with a kill by Steele. The lead proved not be enough as the Wildcats went on a run of their own behind the serving of O’Leary and took a 9-8 lead.

The one-point lead swapped back-and-forth between the two teams on multiple occasions prior to Allen taking over serving duties for the Wildcats only to lead a 5-0 Shelby County run thanks to a pair of kills by Howard.

The Tigers followed with a run of their own to pull within one, but another late run lead by O’ Leary gave Shelby County a 25-20 fourth-set win.

The fifth and final set started much the same way the prior four had, however, with the Wildcats holding a slim 5-4 lead, Garlandria Moore took over serving duties for Shelby County and led a 10-run that gave the Wildcats a 15-4 set win and the match victory.

Purcell led the Wildcats with 24 assist and three aces while Howard added 13 kills.

Brianna Connell lead the Tigers 25 digs and 3 assist while Jordan Ray
added 10 digs, 2 assist, and 6 kills.