Calera beats Brookwood in super regionals ahead of loss to Saraland
Published 6:01 pm Thursday, October 26, 2023
By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor
MONTGOMERY – The Calera Eagles won a historic victory over the Brookwood Panthers to advance to the second round of the South Super Regional tournament in Montgomery on Wednesday, Oct. 25, and they put up a valiant effort in a loss to the Saraland Spartans in the next round.
After a tight battle in the first set where Brookwood led 18-17, Calera took a 21-19 lead and didn’t look back from there. The Eagles won the final three points to claim the first set, 25-20, and set the tone early with a 1-0 lead in the match.
As the second set approached its final points, Brookwood lingered closely behind Calera. However, the Eagles slammed the door shut at the end of the set by taking the final four points.
Calera’s 25-20 win in the second set gave it a 2-0 lead in the match, and the Eagles used that commanding lead to finish out the match.
Calera put its foot on the gas to open the third set and raced ahead to a 7-1 lead. From there, the Eagles controlled the set and extended their lead to 20-6. The gap proved to be insurmountable, as the Panthers couldn’t recover and Calera secured the dominant 25-9 win to advance to the second round.
In the next round, Calera took on Saraland with the winner earning a spot in the state tournament. The Eagles opened the match on a 6-3 run, but the Spartans quickly tied the match at 7 and took a lead that they would not surrender.
Calera clawed back a few points to cut the gap to 22-14, but Saraland won the first set, 25-15, to go up 1-0 in the match.
After a 4-1 run by Calera to kick off the second set, Saraland tied the set again and kicked off a back-and forth that lasted the entire set.
With the teams tied at 21, the Spartans took a pair of points to take the lead, and that was all the momentum they needed to close the 25-22 win in a set that easily could have gone to Calera.
The third set was similar to the others, with the Eagles taking a 3-0 lead early that led to a 6-6 tie. However, instead of staying tied like the second set, the Spartans took a small lead that they kept even though Calera stayed within a couple of points.
Saraland pulled away and forced an Eagles timeout by going up by five, and it sealed the sweep win and a place in states with a 23-15 win in the third.
That ended Calera’s season after winning the area tournament in dramatic fashion and making it to the final 16, only falling to a Saraland team that eventually won the regional championship.