Calera downs Helena for area victory

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

CALERA – Thanks to a dominant run in the fifth set, the Calera Eagles were able to get off to an impressive start to Class 6A, Area 8 play with a thrilling five-set victory over county foe Helena by a final score of 3-2.

The Eagles were able to bounce back from a 1-0 deficit in a 25-16 first set loss by winning the second set 25-23 in thrilling fashion.

A set that went back-and-forth, the Eagles were able to capitalize on match point to even the match at 1-1 rather than falling into a 2-0 deficit.

That led to a shift in momentum to favor Calera, who capitalized in the third set with another thrilling set victory. This time around, the Eagles and Huskies ended up tied 24-24, but Calera made the plays late in the set to pick up a second-consecutive two-point set victory by a final of 26-24 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

Helena, however, flipped the script again in the fourth set with the match on the line. Needing to win to stay alive, the Huskies fought back and got back to their dominating ways that were showcased in the opening set of the night, which led to another 25-16 victory.

Now even at two sets apiece, the two went to a tiebreaker set.

Playing to 15 and having to win by two, Calera left no doubt throughout the set.

The Eagles started strong and finished even stronger to pick up a 15-5 victory in the set to claim the match by a final score of 3-2 (16-25, 25-23, 26-24, 16-25, 15-5).

How the Eagles responded from each 10-point set they dropped in the match was pivotal in winning as were the two sets won by two points that could have easily gone the other way.

The impressive win allowed the Eagles to get off to a 1-0 start in area play, which builds their confidence moving forward in an area featuring two top 10 teams in Chelsea and Pelham.