Oak Mountain reaches Juanita Boddie quarterfinals
Published 5:20 pm Monday, August 28, 2023
By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor
HOOVER – The Oak Mountain Eagles ended the first week of their season strong with a run to the quarterfinals of the annual Juanita Boddie Tournament at Hoover High School on Aug. 25-26.
Overall, the Eagles finished with a 2-2 record in the pool play to earn a spot in the Silver Bracket.
Once in the Silver Bracket, Oak Mountain took on area foe Hewitt-Trussville in the Round of 16 after receiving a bye. The Eagles dominated the first set against the Huskies, who were fresh off a straight-sets win over Northwest Rankin, winning the frame, 25-12.
The second set was a much closer affair, as it took extra points to decide the set. Oak Mountain would win the set, 27-25, to clinch the victory and advance to the quarterfinals.
In the quarterfinals, the Hoover Bucs jumped out to an early lead against the Eagles, as they took the first set with a 25-11 win. However, Oak Mountain battled back and forced extra points in the second set, but it was not enough to stay in the tournament as the Bucs won the set, 26-24, to reach the semifinals.
Before their run in bracket play, the Eagles started their tournament with a convincing win over Baker. Oak Mountain was in control of the first set and earned a 25-15 win, and they came out firing in the second set. The Eagles would go on to win the set 25-12 in dominant fashion and win the match in straight sets.
Later that evening, Oak Mountain battled James Clemens in a tightly contested affair. James Clemens only took the first set 25-20 after the Eagles kept the set close, but the second set was an even closer battle. The two sides forced extra points, and James Clemens edged out a 26-24 win to earn the match victory.
The next morning, the Eagles started out their day with a matchup with Northridge. Both the Eagles and Jags played close enough for the sets to only be separated by a handful of points.
Oak Mountain started out the match with a 25-20 win to earn an early lead in the match, and they closed out the contest with a 25-19 second set win to take the match in straight sets.
Then, Oak Mountain faced Brandon for their final match in pool play. The first set was a tight battle, as Brandon only took the set by five points in a 25-20 win, and from there, they cruised to a 25-12 second set win to finish the match strong.
With the 3-3 finish in the Juanita Boddie, Oak Mountain finished their first week of the season with a 3-4 record thanks to a five-set loss to perennial state title contender Bayside in their home opener on Thursday.
In the Eagles’ seven games during the week, Lauren Schuessler was Oak Mountain’s top kills earner with 60 kills. She also won six aces, recorded 34 assists and earned a .279 hitting percentage on offense. Schuessler also had 30 digs over on the defensive side.
Mabrey Whitehead also had a strong week as she earned 12 aces to take her over 100 aces for her Eagles career. She had 30 kills, a 2.10 passing average and a .205 hitting percentage across seven games, and she also racked up 40 digs on defense.
Oak Mountain won the JV Juanita Boddie tournament thanks to a 6-1 record on the weekend.
Next, Oak Mountain will face Tuscaloosa County at home on Monday, Aug. 28 as they continue their preparations for area play.