Oak Mountain’s season ends at regionals with loss to No. 1 Bob Jones

Published 4:58 pm Thursday, October 26, 2023

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HUNTSVILLE – Competing inside Huntsville’s Von Braun Center on Thursday, Oct. 26, it was hard to tell that the Oak Mountain Eagles were taking on the No. 1 team in the state and trailing for the majority of the match.

In the opening round of the Class 7A North Regional Tournament, the Eagles had their share of struggles, but they also showed joy in the moments that went right.

Entering with nothing to lose against the best team in the state, it was an uphill battle that ultimately ended Oak Mountain’s season in a 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-11) sweep, but the Eagles enjoyed the opportunity throughout.

Despite the challenges, any point won was one they celebrated, as the 2023 team continued to build the program for a bright future.

In the opening set, the Eagles were able to battle throughout with the top-ranked Patriots, but they ultimately started to fall behind late in the set.

Bob Jones capitalized on the momentum shift and was able to eventually create some separation near the 18-point mark, ending on a high note to pull away for a 25-18 victory in the opening set.

Oak Mountain saw that they could compete in the opening set at different times and the Eagles used that in the second set to jump out to an early 7-2 lead.

They held that lead all the way up to 9-7, but Bob Jones responded in a big way with big play after big play. The Patriots used a 16-2 run to open up a big 23-11 lead in the set.

From there, it took just three more points to finish off the second set, closing it out with a 25-12 victory to take a 2-0 match lead.

That became the key momentum shift, with the talented Patriots now a set from state and Oak Mountain on the brink of elimination. The big end to the second set carried into the third as Bob Jones jumped out to a 15-2 advantage.

Oak Mountain still didn’t back down, fighting through every point, eventually trimming the deficit down to 10 points at 20-10, but the Eagles couldn’t overcome the deep hole, as Bob Jones finished off the sweep with a 25-11 third-set victory.

Oak Mountain will finish the season in regionals for the second consecutive season, making them one of the state’s top 16 teams in back-to-back years.