Calera overcomes first-set loss to beat Montevallo in county battle

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

MONTEVALLO – In a battle of county volleyball teams, the Calera Eagles and Montevallo Bulldogs competed in a hard-fought matchup on Tuesday, Sept. 1, with three of the four sets decided by three points or less.

With both teams coming off of recent losses, it marked an opportunity for the two to gain some confidence back ahead of upcoming area games.

And while the Bulldogs were two classifications lower than Class 6A Calera, they weren’t scared to come out and show that they could compete with the Eagles.

Montevallo was able to gain some early confidence in the matchup and made several big plays late in key rallies to pull off a 25-22 opening-set win.

That, however, seemed to wake up the Eagles.

In the ensuing set, they came out like a team that knew they were better than the way they played in the first set.

With that extra motivation, Calera put together a strong run to jump out in front early before pulling away for an easy 11-point win in the set.

After the 25-14 win, the Eagles had evened up the match and gained back their sense of belief.

But Montevallo wasn’t going to go down without a fight. The Bulldogs bounced back from the difficult second set and competed again in the third set, but they couldn’t make the same late plays they did in the first set to seal a win.

Instead, it was the Eagles who did what they needed to fresh off the second-set win. Up 24-22, they closed out the set one point later to break the tie and take a 2-1 lead.

That put Montevallo in a situation of having to win the fourth set to stay alive and force a fifth-and-decisive fifth set. The Bulldogs once again put together a strong fight, but Calera had stolen away too much of the momentum.

Again in a tightly contested set, the Eagles were able to make plays down the stretch, and just like the third set, they closed out the final point for a 25-22 set victory to complete the 3-1 match win by a final score of 22-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-22.

Both teams are hovering around .500 heading into area play and hope to gain even more confidence moving forward.