Spain Park downs Vestavia Hills for another top-10 win

Published 2:45 pm Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

VESTAVIA HILLS – Spain Park’s volleyball team added another top-10 win to its resume on Tuesday, Sept. 21 in an area matchup against Vestavia Hills.

The Jaguars, who lost the No. 1 ranking in Class 7A a week earlier in a five-set loss to Thompson, bounced back two days later against No. 3 McGill-Toolen and have now notched an area win against No. 7 Vestavia Hills.

Spain Park handed the Rebels their fifth loss of the season, as the Jags moved to 4-0 in area play with a 3-1 (25-17, 20-25, 25-19, 25-14) win. They have now beaten each area opponent at least once this season.

In the opening set against Vestavia Hills, the two teams battled back-and-forth for a while, but the Jags started to create some separation following a kill from Emily Breazeale and a block from Olivia Myers on back-to-back plays to take an 8-5 advantage.

Spain Park played with the lead throughout the opening set after that stretch, eventually taking a seven-point lead at 19-12 following consecutive aces from Breazeale.

Vestavia Hills battled back into the set at 20-16, but an Ashley Fowler aces set the tone for a 5-1 run to end the set, which was capped off by a kill from Booklyn Allison.

The Rebels, however, bounced back in a big way in the second set.

Spain Park was able to take the lead at 15-14, but Vestavia Hills came back with a 4-1 run to take the lead for good. The Rebels went on to win the set 25-20 and even the match at 1-1.

But that seemed to wake up the Jaguars.

The third set was another tight battle between the two, but this time, it was the Jags who were able to make the late plays.

In an 18-18 tie, Audrey Rothman struck with a kill to break the tie. That helped spark a 7-2 run to end the set capped off by a monster kill from McKinney Shea, which gave the Jags a 25-20 win and put them back in front 2-1.

That gave Spain Park the confidence it needed to push through in the final set.

The Jaguars put together their best set of the night in the fourth set and pulled away for an easy 25-14 win to complete the 3-1 area victory.

Rothman had another dominant night with a jaw-dropping 32 kills in the match, while Breazeale finished just behind with 22 kills.

Lilly Johnson led Spain Park with 27 assists, while Haley Thompson was just behind that mark with 20. Breazeale also tied for the team lead in digs with 14, sharing that mark with Brooklyn Allison.

Spain Park improved to 21-4 overall on the season with the win.