Oak Mountain takes down Tuscaloosa County in four sets

Published 5:38 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – After a stellar weekend where they reached the quarterfinals at the Juanita Boddie Tournament in Hoover, the Oak Mountain Eagles continued their winning ways with a victory over the Tuscaloosa County Wildcats in four sets.

Oak Mountain jumped out to an early 4-1 lead that they built off of throughout the first set. Tuscaloosa County kept the gap at just three points as the Eagles were up 9-6, but Oak Mountain increased it to 15-6 off six straight points won.

From there, Oak Mountain increased their lead to 20-8 before the Eagles and Wildcats traded points to put Oak Mountain up 23-11 with just two points needed to win the set.

The Eagles closed out the set with back-to-back points to win 25-11 and go one up on the match.

Oak Mountain controlled the early part of the second set and led 5-2 after seven points. Then, the Eagles went on a 10-1 run to take a commanding 15-3 lead in the set.

Oak Mountain continued building on their lead to stay up 20-5, but Tuscaloosa County took a few points to cut the deficit to 22-9. However, the Eagles continued trading points to take the 25-12 set win.

Now down 2-0 in the match, Tuscaloosa County fought hard in the second half of the match. The Eagles and Wildcats went back and forth as the Eagles only had a 6-5 lead, but Tuscaloosa County tied up the game at eight and eventually went up 12-11 for their first lead of the day.

Oak Mountain kept the third set close throughout, but the Wildcats maintained their lead down the stretch and took the third set, 25-21.

In the fourth set, the two teams were still close, but Oak Mountain was able to respond from going down in the previous set to take an 11-8 lead. As the Eagles built out their lead to 16-10, Tuscaloosa County kept pace before they cut the lead to 20-17.

The Wildcats then tied the set up at 20 to kick off a tense end to the set. Oak Mountain took a 23-21 lead, but Tuscaloosa County drew within one after the Eagles failed to win their first match point.

With the Eagles’ lead now just 24-23, the Wildcats served with a chance to take the set into extra points and stay alive in the match, but a service error off the net sealed the deal and gave Oak Mountain a 25-23 fourth set win to take the match, 3-1.

Lauren Schuessler led the way for Oak Mountain with 22 kills and seven aces, and she contributed well around the floor with 13 digs, 10 assists, a block and a 2.0 passing average.

Anna Dubose led the Eagles in digs with 16 to go with her seven assists and an ace, and Ava Heath had a balanced day with 10 kills, 10 digs and three aces.

Aubrie Lay also finished the day with five kills and a +0.625 hitting percentage.

Oak Mountain will next host Hewitt-Trussville on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m.