Oak Mountain closes out strong week with five wins at South of Town Showdown

Published 12:43 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – Oak Mountain made the short trip to Alabaster for the South of Town Showdown on Saturday, Sept. 9 as they looked to test themselves against some of the top talent from around the Southeast.

The Eagles entered the tournament coming off four straight wins in the regular season, including a sweep over Homewood to start the week and an area win over Chelsea to take them to 2-0 in area play.

Oak Mountain took five wins during the day-long tournament and improved to 12-5 in the process as they continue to establish themselves as one of the favorites in Class 7A.

Oak Mountain opened the tournament with a match against DAR. The Eagles took the opening set, 25-15, and grabbed control of the match with an early one-set lead.

The second set was a close fight throughout, as the set came down to the final points and Oak Mountain was within close striking distance at the end. Ultimately, DAR forced a third set with a 25-23 win to avoid both having to go to extra points and losing the match in the second set.

The Eagles came out strong in the third set and edged out DAR in the final frame, taking a 15-11 win to take the match victory.

Oak Mountain used the momentum from their opening match win to fuel a victory against local Birmingham foe Gardendale in the next match. The Eagles took the opening set, and they went on to win the match in a straight-set sweep.

Oak Mountain then faced Gulf Shores as the Eagles sought to keep their undefeated run through the tournament alive. The two teams had a tight first set, but Oak Mountain finished the set strong and took the opening set, 25-20.

In the second set, the Eagles got out to a more comfortable lead and used that to close out the match, beating the Dolphins, 25-14, to win in straight sets.

Now coming off wins in their last seven sets in a row, Oak Mountain took on their first out-of-state opponent of the tournament against the Jefferson Dragons out of Georgia. The Eagles put up a fight in the first set, but the Dragons took the set 25-21 to take the lead in the match.

Jefferson edged out the second set with a slightly larger margin of victory, as they won the second set, 25-19, to give the Dragons the sweep win and end Oak Mountain’s undefeated run.

Despite taking a loss to Jefferson, Oak Mountain bounced right back with a win over the Shades Valley Mounties. The Eagles won the opening set, and they kept rolling to win the second set to earn the straight-set win.

Oak Mountain then faced Westminster to close out the tournament against their foes from Huntsville. The Eagles started out the match with a solid opening set win, as they won the first set, 25-17, to take a 1-0 lead.

The second set saw Oak Mountain close out the day on a high note as they beat the Wildcats, 25-16, to win the match, 2-0.

Oak Mountain finished the week with a 7-1 record. Across those eight matches, the Eagles had multiple solid performers.

Lauren Schuessler earned 60 kills during those matches as she hit for +.376. She also won 11 aces, contributed 59 assists, and took 62 digs as well as six blocks.

Mabrey Whitehead was Oak Mountain’s next highest kill earner with 57 kills and a +.252 hitting percentage. She took 18 aces from the service line and also earned 41 digs and four blocks on defense.

Aubrie Lay was a force up front for the Eagles as she earned 12 blocks, and she had 24 kills and a +.268 hitting percentage as well.

Next up for Oak Mountain, they will face Hewitt-Trussville on the road on Tuesday, Sept. 12 as they continue area play and look to earn two regular season wins against the Huskies.