Spain Park opens season with 5-set win against Helena

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HOOVER – Due to the concerns of the season being cut short due to COVID-19, Spain Park’s opening volleyball match on Thursday, Aug. 20 against county foe Helena also coincided as senior night.

While it was different, the seniors will never forget the start to their final season thanks to a thrilling five-set 3-2 (25-12, 19-25, 25-15, 22-25, 15-6) victory.

“It was a rough night, but glad to get out our jitters and glad to get our seniors a senior night,” head coach Kellye Bowen said. “It’s always a great day to compete.”

From the beginning, it looked as if the Jags were set for an easy matchup, but missing six rotation players they would normally have led to some issues at times during the matchup.

They were able to pick up an easy 25-12 victory in the opening set, which was an ideal start to take an early 1-0 lead, but the Huskies were ready for an answer.

Helena came out in the second set and was able to take advantage of a few mistakes, eventually grabbing a lead and pulling away down the stretch for a 25-19 set win to tie the match 1-1.

In a matchup that went back and forth the entire night with neither team ceasing momentum for more than one set, Spain Park bounced back in the third set.

The Jaguars found a similar rhythm to the first set and picked up a 25-15 win going away to reclaim the lead at 2-1.

Looking to close it out in the fourth set, Spain Park put together a good effort, but with the match on the line, Helena came through in the clutch to pick up a hard-fought 25-22 win and even the score back up at 2-2.

That forced a fifth and decisive set to determine who would start the season with a win.

And Spain Park came out determined to gut it out.

The Jags pressed the gas pedal from the start of the decisive set and never looked back, eventually pulling away for a relaxing 15-6 set victory to take the match 3-2 in a pressure-packed opener.

Spain Park was led by Audrey Rothman with 20 kills, 10 digs and five blocks. Emily Breazeale had nine kills, while Paige Ingersoll added five kills and four digs. Katelyn Walsh led the team with nine digs and five aces.