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Shelby County claims volleyball area title

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Wildcats continued an impressive volleyball season on Wednesday, Oct. 14, when they swept Sylacauga to claim the Class 5A, Area 8 tournament to become champions.

The Wildcats took down both Central Clay and Sylacauga during the tournament, sweeping Central 3-0 in the first round and beating the Aggies 3-1 in the championship match to claim the title.

In the opening match of the tournament against Central Clay, the Wildcats took commanding leads early in each set to pull away and win each by at least 10 points.

Shelby County won the three sets 25-13, 25-15 and 25-13 to complete the sweep and quickly earn a trip to the championship match in front of the home crowd.

In the title match, the Wildcats looked to be off to a similar start against Sylacauga with how the first set began.

The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead behind a 5-1 run, and eventually gained a 10-5 lead, before holding that steady advantage throughout the set en route to their third 25-13 set win in four sets played during the night.

But down 1-0, the Aggies weren’t ready to give up on stealing away the title from the home team.

They came out in the second set and looked ready to compete. After battling to a 5-5- tie, Sylacauga was able to eventually pull in front 10-6.

The Aggies eventually gathered a 15-10 lead and followed that with a 5-0 run to take a commanding lead before closing out the second set with a 25-14 victory to even the match score at 1-1.

For a while, the third set followed suit, as both teams battle back and forth with Sylacauga eventually grabbing a 10-9 lead.

But from there, the Wildcats went on an 8-0 run to storm in front for a 17-10 lead. The Aggies battled back and made it interesting down the stretch, but the deficit was too much for them to climb out of as Shelby County closed out a 25-19 set victory.

Now up, 2-1 in the match, the Wildcats were a set away from winning the championship, but Sylacauga once again came out ready to extend the match and force a tiebreaker.

The Aggies went head-to-head with Shelby County in the set tying it at 13-13 and trailing by only one or two points throughout.

But the Wildcats eventually earned match point at 24-23, and they weren’t going to be denied, closing the match out on the next point for a 25-23 set victory and 3-1 match win.

In the championship match, Alyssa Seale continued a strong season with 17 kills to lead Shelby County while also adding a strong night at the service line with two aces in 11 attempts.

Savana Tarwater also had a strong showing at the net with seven kills. Madison Wood led the team with four aces in the win, while Ava Vansant added three aces.

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