Spain Park wins 5-set thriller with Thompson

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

HOOVER – For the second time this season the Spain Park Jaguars and Thompson Warriors met in a ranked matchup on the volleyball court on Monday, Sept. 23, and just like the first go-around that saw the Jags win a tough three-setter in a tri-match, the follow up match two weeks later was no less thrilling.

After Thompson overcame a two-set deficit to tie the match at 2-2, the Jaguars were somehow able to regain their composure heading to the tiebreaker set. The Jags jumped out to a 4-1 lead early in the decisive fifth set, and while they weren’t able to hold serve much after that, it was enough of a separation to eventually win the set 15-12 and the match 3-2.

Spain Park started the match with the same level of intensity it closed the match with in a dominant opening set.

The Jags jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead in the set to gain momentum, and that lead quickly grew to 11-3 shortly after, as they took advantage of Thompson’s lack of being able to hold serve.

That uphill climb for the Warriors was too steep in out of the gates, as the two teams traded points the rest of the way leading to a 25-14 opening-set victory for Spain Park.

Down a set, the Warriors needed to bounce back and show some life in the second set, which led to the most thrilling battle of the five-set match.

The two teams continued trading blows early in the set with Thompson taking a 5-3 lead and Spain Park bounding back for a 6-5 advantage.

That became the theme of the set as neither team led by more than two points throughout, which led to a thrilling finish. Spain Park eventually took a 20-18 lead and was closing in on a 2-0 lead in the match, but the Warriors had some fight left in the set.

They closed the gap and eventually took a 22-21 lead, but the back-and-forth affair continued up to a 25-25 tie late in the set. The Warriors actually jumped back in front and had a match point at 26-25, but Spain Park won the serve back and didn’t relinquish it again with three consecutive points to close out the 28-26 victory.

After that tough loss, the Warriors were down 2-0 in the match and in what seemed to be difficult deficit to overcome after the heartbreak of that second set.

Thompson, however, isn’t a team that folds no matter the deficit, and in the third set, the Warriors started their comeback attempt. In what was a tight set for the most part, a 6-0 run late ended up giving the Warriors a 21-17 lead.

Spain Park closed the gap slightly, but couldn’t overcome the deficit as Thompson won its first set of the night 25-23 to keep the match alive.

The fourth set featured more traded runs early on, but eventually, the Warriors were able to put together another strong run at the opportune time to take a 16-12 lead.

The Jags fought back yet again, but Thompson held on for a second straight set victory, this time 25-22 to force a fifth and deciding tiebreak set.

Despite having lost the momentum in the match, Spain Park bounced back in a big way in the final set, and the Jags did so from the start building a quick 8-3 lead.

Thompson battled back to trim the deficit, but Spain Park eventually won several late points on serve to hold on for the 15-12 victor and claim the match.