BCS volleyball falls in thrilling 5-setter against 6A Homewood

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – It’s been an up-and-down start to the 2019 volleyball season for the Briarwood Lions, but a recent winning streak and a difficult schedule has their confidence on the rise and led to a thrilling five-set match with the Class 6A Homewood Patriots at home on Thursday, Sept. 5.

Coming into the match with a tri-match sweep of McAdory and Huffman in their most recent outing, the Lions were ready to take on the Patriots, who have been one of the better teams in the 6A classification as of late.

The confidence showed on the court for the Lions, who were able to play the Patriots tough throughout the entire night splitting the first four sets, before ultimately dropping a heartbreaker in five sets thanks to a 15-11 loss in the tiebreaker set.

Early in the match, it looked like it may be a long night for Briarwood after Homewood got off to a fast start on the road. The Patriots jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the set and never looked back on their way to taking the opening set 25-14, which became the largest margin of defeat throughout the thrilling match.

In a situation where they needed to win to avoid a quick 2-0 hole, the Lions responded with a big second set. In a set that didn’t see either team pull away, the Lions were able to hold serve for a while between points six and nine, and then closed the set out with four consecutive points to close out a 25-18 set victory and even the match at 1-1.

After seeing that they could compete against the Patriots, the Lions’ confidence had been sparked and carried over into the third set.

Briarwood fell behind 4-2 early in the set, but responded with a strong service game to eventually take a 10-5 advantage. From that point, the Lions never looked back and picked up a lopsided win of their own by a final score of 25-15 to take a 2-1 lead in the match and get within a set of closing out the victory.

The third set was one of the more entertaining of the night, as Homewood eventually gathered a 18-16 lead late, but thanks to a great service game, the Patriots eventually scored five consecutive game before putting away set point for a 25-19 victory to force a deciding fifth set to determine the winner.

In the decisive final set, Homewood got off to the exact start it had hoped for thanks to eventually going up 7-2 and 9-4, but Briarwood still had plenty of fight left in it.

The Lions were able to wipe that deficit off the board, eventually coming all the way back to tie the match at 9-9. Briarwood then went on to take an 11-10 lead shortly after, but Homewood answered with the biggest run of the night.

The Patriots, down by one, earned serve back and made it county by reeling off the final four points in a row to close the match out with a 5-0 run to pick up the 3-2 victory in thrilling fashion.