No. 1 Spain Park opens volleyball season with tri-match sweep

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

HOOVER – Expectations were high for the Spain Park Jaguars entering the 2021 volleyball season as the No. 1 team in Class 7A, and on night one, they didn’t disappoint.

Taking on James Clemens and Buckhorn in a tri-match on Thursday, Aug. 19, the Jags picked up sweeps of both teams, beating James Clemens 25-17, 25-12 and Buckhorn 25-8, 25-19.

In the opener against the Jets, Spain Park wasted no time en route to a 25-17 victory in the first set for a 1-0 lead in the match, getting off to a confident start to the 2021 season.

That seemingly built the confidence of the already-talented team.

In the second set, Spain Park left no doubt, pulling away from Buckhorn for a 25-12 win in the set and a quick 2-0 win to start the season with a victory.

In the opening match, senior leader Audrey Rothman totaled 14 kills to lead the Jaguars, while McKinney Shea added five kills and Bella Halyard and Liv Myers both had four kills.

Rothman also led the team in aces with two and blocks with two. Lilly Johnson played a role with 13 assists in the match, while Halyard was just behind with 11 assists.

In the second match against Buckhorn, Spain Park picked up right where it left off in the opening matchup of the season.

The Jaguars put together their best set of the night to open the match with a dominant 25-8 win for a 1-0 advantage.

The next set was slightly closer, but the Jags were able to cap off a night in which they won every set by at least 10 points with a 28-18 win in the second set against Buckhorn to complete another 2-0 win.

This time around, it was Emily Breazele who set the tone for the Jags thanks to eight kills, while Rothman finished with six.

Halyard also closed out an impressive opening night thanks to five kills and seven assists in the win. Johnson had six assists and four digs, while Paige Ingersoll finished second on the team with six digs.

Brooklyn Allison was the team leader in digs with eight, while also putting together the strongest service game of the night in the match thanks to eight aces.

The night marked a 2-0 start to the season for the Jags with a win against the 10th-ranked team in their classification and a top contender in the 6A classification.