Oak Mountain splits matchups with Vestavia, Mountain Brook

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

The Oak Mountain Eagles have put together an impressive 2020 volleyball season so far despite a difficult schedule, which included two big matchups on Sept. 21 and 22.

Taking on Vestavia Hills in a battle of 7A top 10 teams on Monday and Class 6A No. 2 Mountain Brook on Tuesday, the Eagles faced two more tests and walked away with a split between the two.

Against the Rebels on Sept. 21, No. 6 Oak Mountain took down No. 7 Vestavia Hills 3-1 after bouncing back from a difficult opening set. Then, a day later, taking on a favorite to win the 6A title, the Eagles struggled playing their second match in as many days, falling to the No. 2 Spartans in straight sets 3-0.

Against the Rebels, Oak Mountain actually got off to a strong start even the Eagles dropped the opening set.

Having already beaten Vestavia earlier in the season 2-0, they had confidence entering the match and it showed early in the match. Oak Mountain controlled it throughout and put together a strong run late to take a 24-20 lead and get within a point of taking the opening set.

But the Eagles couldn’t close it out.

Vestavia went on to win six consecutive points to steal away the set by a final score of 26-24 in comeback fashion, which put Oak Mountain in an early 1-0 hole.

But for the majority of the opening set, the Eagles looked like the better team and they played like it the rest of the night.

After blowing the first set, they were determined to not do that again, which made all the difference for a now motivated and angry team.

Oak Mountain came out in the second set and in similar fashion built a late 24-21 lead. This time, the Eagles clamped down and didn’t allow the comeback to pick up a 25-21 victory and even the match at 1-1.

That was the beginning of a strong stretch for Oak Mountain.

The Eagles got better and better as the match went on and in the third set, they pulled away for another late lead of 24-18, before closing out the match at 25-18.

Oak Mountain then closed out the match with its third consecutive set victory with an even larger margin of victory thanks to a 25-16 win, which completed the comeback for a 3-1 match victory.

A night later, however, it was tough for the Eagles to get their legs back under them against Mountain Brook.

The No. 2 Spartans, who entered 16-4 on the season, hadn’t played in close to a week and were coming off a 3-1 loss to the No. 1 7A team in the Hoover Buccaneers.

They were motivated and had just competed against one of the best teams in the state, which gave them the confidence to compete with anyone.

Rested, Mountain Brook came out and took control of the match early with a 25-14 win in the first set. From there, it was difficult for the Eagles to bounce back.

The second set was the closest of the match, but the Spartans still pulled away for a 25-18 win. Then, in the third set, they closed out the match with a dominant 25-12 win to complete the sweep.