Chelsea sweeps tri-match, Briarwood splits

Published 5:52 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

CHELSEA – What has been another unbelievable season for the Chelsea Hornets volleyball team under head coach Jessica Pickett got even better on Tuesday, Oct. 16, as the Hornets swept yet another tri-match, something that has almost become a tradition this season.

The Hornets were able to pick up a 2-0 win against county foe and rival Briarwood, as well as 6A opponent Pell City to continue their successful season that has seen more than 30 wins for the second year in a row.

For the Briarwood Christian Lions, it’s been a season of ups and downs, but for a young team, it’s been more a season of growth than anything, and at this point in the season, they’re exactly where they would like to be.

Coming into the season, the Lions expected to have some growing pains early in the season with a young roster, but it turned out to be an impressive regular season featuring a winning record and the two seed heading into the area tournament.

With the top two teams heading to the postseason at the conclusion of the area tournament, the Lions look like a team on the verge of another postseason run of some sort with their gained experience.

During the match against one another, Chelsea, however, was able to show what makes them so good, depth and experience against that young Briarwood squad.

With a 2-0 victory in the match, the Hornets continued a stretch where they have won 21 of their last 22 contests. Their only two losses in the last 24 games came to Pelham (3-1) and Helena (3-1), both of whom Chelsea has beaten by final scores of 3-1 as well.

Briarwood went on to salvage one win in the tri-match to pull off a split thanks to a strong effort against Pell City that saw the Lions grab a sweep to gain some confidence.

It’s something that will help this young team that has gone 2-3 in its last five games against difficult competition.

Chelsea also pulled off another win against Pell City on the evening to pick up the clean sweep by a combined final of 4-0, as the two Shelby County teams went a combined 6-2 on the night.

Last year, the Hornets were rolling in similar fashion heading into the area tournament, but ended up falling in the first round of the area tournament to miss out on the postseason, while Helena and Pelham had strong postseason runs, including a state championship for the Panthers.

That showed that a team from their area can easily go on to win a title, and has Chelsea ready to make up for last year’s disappointing ending.