Thompson sweeps Oak Mountain in area matchup
By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter
ALABASTER – The Thompson Warriors wrote the book on how to start your area schedule off right on Tuesday, Aug. 31, as they put on a display of excellent defense and service, while attacking the net with vigor to sweep the Oak Mountain Eagles 25-12, 25-11, 25-11.
Thompson (7-2, 1-0) sits at No. 2 in the 7A rankings and continued its momentum coming off a 3-0 sweep of No. 7 Auburn on the road last week.
“We have a great respect for Oak Mountain, and we’ve been preparing for this match for about a week and a half,” Thompson head coach Judy Green said. “We knew we were going to have to be on our A-game and we were on our A-game tonight.”
The Warriors were aggressive all night and jumped out in the first set to an 11-5 lead featuring three aces—two coming from Hannah Fincher.
Kaitlyn Grant and Madison Touhey were an unstoppable duo at the net as Touhey’s passes seemed to find the high-flying Grant early and often. Grant scored on three kills and a block and then Carolina Canaday stepped to the service line to finish off the first set.
The senior outside hitter showed off her skills leading a 9-0 run for Thompson in which she sent three aces to the floor and several other serves that had the Eagles sprawling to keep the ball alive.
“We had three super long runs from servers tonight,” Green said. “We work on serving a lot and we want to be good not only at serving, but serving past or in front of (the opponent). We’ve learned to control the tempo of our serve, and Iknew we were in for a good match.”
Next, it was Briana Wilson’s time to take over. Three more early aces and two more from Fincher helped Thompson to another 11-5 lead. But with the team up 15-8, Wilson took it to another level.
She scored six of the final 10 points including a huge hit to Oak Mountain’s back corner off a perfect pass from Touhey. The 10-3 run finished off the set and gave the Warriors a chance at the sweep.
THS added four more aces to total 14 in the area match and continued to keep the Eagles on their heels to the very end.
OM got within 9-7, but the Warriors used two more long runs to finish off their area rival. A 6-0 and 4-0 run left no doubt, as five different players recorded kills in the final set to preserve the win.
After the game, Green talked about her nimble group up front.
“Athleticism is certainly one of our strengths. We’re athletic at every position and it’s rare,” Green said. “I think the thing that really makes this team tick and work together is the love they have for each other, and when they play for each other and play with such joy, they’re really good.”
Photos available at Shelbycountyphotos.com.