Briarwood grabs win over Woodlawn, will host area tourney

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – It’s been a season of ups and downs for the Briarwood volleyball team battling the tribulations of a difficult schedule, but it’s a team poised to make the playoffs as the top team in its area, and on Tuesday, Sept. 24, in a matchup with area foe Woodlawn, the Lions showed why.

The Lions, who were coming off a 1-3 showing at the Brooks Invitational tournament over the weekend, came out determined to pick up a dominant area win against the Colonels, and it paid off.

It’s a Woodlawn team that has played better this year than most, but that didn’t matter against Briarwood who was able to play lights out from the start of the match to pick up a straight-set victory to not just notch another area win, but claim the regular-season area title to earn hosting rights for the area tournament.

In the opening set, Briarwood fell behind 3-0 early as Woodlawn served first and won the first three points, but after winning over the serve, the Lions responded and never looked back.

They were able to put together service runs of four and nine to pull away for an easy 25-11 victory to open the match.

The Lions didn’t just win that opening set, but it set the tone for the rest of the night, and in the second set, they picked right back up where they left off in the opening set thanks to another strong service game.

Starting with the serve this time around, Briarwood won the first 12 points without dropping serve to take a 12-0 lead. The Lions eventually took a 16-1 lead in the set before closing things out thanks to six consecutive service points won later in the set, which led to a dominant 25-5 second-set victory and a 2-0 advantage.

At that point, the Colonels were in a 2-0 hole forced to win three consecutive sets to pick up the match victory, which was too much of an uphill climb with no confidence.

Woodlawn never was able to hold serve in the final set for more than one point, while the Lions continued to win point-after-point. That eventually led to Briarwood closing out the match with a 25-8 victory in the third set to complete a dominant effort.

The Lions had seven service games in the match that won at least three points in a row, while four of those service games saw at least six consecutive points won in a row.