Briarwood rallies but falls in four to Northridge in super regionals

Published 6:45 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

MONTGOMERY – Just like the Briarwood Christian Lions did all season, they fought until the end in their South Super Regional matchup with the Northridge Jaguars, but the Lions fell, 3-1, to end their season on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex.

After a battle of runs to open the match, the Lions and the Jags were tied up at 8 going into a back-and-forth stretch where the teams traded points. From there, Northridge took control and went up 13-10, eventually leading 20-13.

Briarwood won the next three points and fought back, but it could only pull within four as Northridge took the last two points of the set to win the opening frame, 25-18.

The second set opened in a 5-5 deadlock before Northridge won three straight points, including an ace. Then, Briarwood battled back to tie the set at 9 with back-to-back aces by Julie Roberts to kick off a brief run for the Lions.

While the Lions looked in control after that momentum swing, Northridge tied the set up again at 15. After that, the teams traded blows down the stretch with each side looking to grab hold of the set.

Briarwood led 23-22 late in the set, but the Jaguars took the final three points to win the second set, 25-22, and go up 2-0 in the match.

With their backs against the wall, the Lions roared back in a phenomenal third set performance. After a 4-4 opening stretch, Briarwood grabbed a hold on the set by winning four straight points to go up 8-4. The Jaguars briefly drew close at 9-8, but they were no match for the Lions as the set went on.

Briarwood increased its lead as the set went on and closed it in dominant fashion, winning five of the final six points to seal a 25-15 third set win to force a fourth set and keep its season alive.

Northridge opened the fourth set with a 9-5 lead and looked to assert control from there, but Briarwood responded with a stretch that included back-to-back points and a Clara Crawford solo block to tie the set at 11.

The Lions then went up 15-12 off back-to-back aces and controlled the next phase of the match. However, Northridge came fighting back to take a 22-21 lead, which kicked off a tense final stretch.

Briarwood won the next two points to regain a 23-22 lead, but Northridge tied up the set again at 23. On the next point, a blocked shot went out to give Northridge the lead again. From there, the Jaguars won an ace to seal the match with a 25-23 fourth set win.

The loss eliminated the Briarwood Christian Lions from the postseason. The Lions had a stellar season, going 33-18 and finishing as the runner-up in Class 6A, Area 8 to punch their ticket to super regionals.