Spain Park closes regular season with sweep of Helena

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

HELENA – The Spain Park Jaguars have hit several winning streaks this season, and the latest may be coming at the right time as the Jags closed out the 2019 regular season with a strong showing in the recent Blalock Tournament, before then sweeping Helena 3-0 on Thursday, Oct. 17, to gain more confidence ahead of the upcoming area tournament where their season will be on the line.

Against the Huskies on the road to cap the regular season, Spain Park came out and looked like a confident team winning each set by at least eight points behind victories of 25-14, 25-10 and 25-17 to complete the sweep.

In the opening set, the Jaguars jumped out to a 9-2 lead quickly behind three consecutive strong service games. Helena didn’t win consecutive points until winning points six and seven in a row to cut the deficit to 11-6.

That was one of just three service points won by the Huskies in the opening set, which kept them in a hole. Spain Park, on the other hand, was able to have five different service games of winning at least two points on serve, which led to the Jags picking up a 25-14 victory in the opening set.

Spain Park’s impressive performance on serve continued in the second set, as the Jags were able to put together three different service games where they won at least five points on serve.

That impressive performance was closed out when Abby Byrd stepped to the service line and won the final five points in a row to lead the Jags to a dominant 25-10 showing in the second set to put them up 2-0 in the match.

With all the momentum, and still confident serving the ball, Spain Park carried the success of the first two sets into the third set.

The Jaguars were able jump out to a 4-0 lead thanks to three consecutive service points after the Huskies missed on the opening serve of the set.

But throughout the set, Helena battled. The Huskies ended up playing their best set of the match with their backs against the wall, including a total of eight service points won, which beat their total combined between the previous two sets.

Still though, Spain Park was playing too good and went on to win 13 service points in the third set never relinquishing the lead to pull away again for a 25-17 victory and the three-set sweep.

Spain Park will now travel to Mountain Brook on Tuesday, Oct. 22, for the area tournament where the Jags will take on Vestavia Hills at 5:30 p.m. A win in that match not only advances them to the area championship, but also regionals, while a loss ends their season.

Helena will also need a win to stay alive as they take on top-10 opponent Pelham at Chelsea High School the same night at 5 p.m. With a win, the Huskies would also advance to the area tournament championship and regionals.