Helena advances to sub-regionals with win against Calera

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

PELHAM – It has been an up and down season at times for the Helena Huskies, but this year’s volleyball team has fought to get better and fine tune imperfections throughout the season, and it paid off on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

With their season on the line in the first round of the area tournament against county foe Calera, the Huskies picked up a straight-set victory to advance to the area tournament championship as well as the sub-regional round of the postseason.

Helena went on to lose to Pelham in straight sets right after beating the Eagles, but the Huskies’ win in the opening round of the tournament automatically advanced them into the postseason and put them two wins away from a spot in the state tournament.

Facing Calera for the second time this season, the Huskies were prepared for what they were going to see and they felt confident. But, the Eagles also knew what to expect, which led to a tightly contested opening set with the season on the line for both teams.

Early in the set, Helena jumped out to an early 5-2 lead, but didn’t lead by more than that throughout the set.

After the Huskies took an 11-8 lead, Calera bounced back with a strong run that saw the Eagles jump in front for an impressive 14-9 advantage.

The Eagles led for the next few points before Helena came back to tie it up at 19-19. Calera, however, bounced back with another run, eventually taking a 23-19 lead.

That’s when Helena found its clutch play near the end of the set. At first, the Huskies came back to make it 23-22, but then they faced set point at 24-22.

They staved it off, however, by not letting Calera win on serve. Then Helena flipped the switch and put together three straight wins on serve to claim the first set by a final of 26-24 to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

From there, you could sense the life being injected into the Huskies. Their confidence shot through the roof, while the Eagles couldn’t find the same assurance the rest of the night after that dejecting loss.

In the second set, the Helena jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead, before eventually taking a commanding 12-4 lead. The Huskies led by at least nine points the remainder of the set and eventually closed out a 25-16 victory to take a 2-0 advantage.

Helena carried that same confidence into the third set and quickly took control with a 9-4 lead out of the gate. From there, it was a mere formality.

After taking a 15-9 advantage, Brianna Wilson closed out the match by winning nine consecutive points on serve for a 25-9 win to complete the 3-0 sweep.