Brewer clinches area championship
Special to the Enquirer
FLORETTE – The Brewer Lady Pats swept both Columbia and Arab in three sets to seize the Area Championship on Thursday. This is the second time Brewer head coach Ron Smith has lead his team to Area Champions since 2002.
“We have not won the area championship in volleyball in a long time that was one of our motivating factors,” said Smith. “We were also playing for a top seed in the next tournament. We came out fired up and ready to play. We were more relaxed.”
The Lady Pats began the day by securing a spot in the Super-Regional tournament by sweeping Columbia in three quick sets.
Savana Flack set the rhythm for her team posting seven points on a 25-13 victory in set one. Taylor Maxwell and Reed Sowder controlled the second set from the setter’s position. Maxwell took her team to a quick 7-2 lead while Sowder closed the set by putting the Lady Pats up 23-13. Riley Northway snagged six points, including the set point to win the second set 25-13. Cheyenne McLemore and Northway served their way through set three with the help of Flack’s five points to take set three 25-16.
“I thought we came out a little tight but we fought through and did what we needed to do to win the match,” Smith said.
Arab fought its way past a resilient Scottsboro team 3-1 to grab a spot in the Super-Regional as well as a chance to face off against Brewer for the Championship title.
Cheyenne McLemore carried her team’s momentum into the opening set against the Lady Knights. McLemore served her team into a 21-11 lead. She ended the set with five total points, including set point for a 25-16 set victory.
Set two began strong for Brewer as McLemore and Flack pushed their team to an 11-4 lead over the Knights. Arab’s Skylar Holmes helped her team fight back into the match by cutting into the lead 16-15. However the Lady Knights could not find a way to stop Northway, Flack and McLemore combining for 14 points to take set two 25-22.
“We had a few errors and Arab really stepped up their play,” said Smith.
“Volleyball is such a game of momentum; we made some mistakes to stunt our momentum. Arab is a tough team, they have a top program; but we were able to bounce back and overcome our errors.”
With only one more set victory separating them from Area Champions, the Lady Pats continued to surge through set three. After a long and close fought set, Taylor Maxwell set her team ahead by serving to a 22-12 score late in the set. Riley Northway posted seven points including the match winner to send the Patriots onto Super-Regional’s with a 25-14 set victory.
“This gives us a lot of confidence heading into the next tournament, but we still have to prepare for another tough team from another area,” Smith said.
Riley Northway, Cheyenne McLemore, Reed Sowder and Savanna Flack all earned their place on the Area All-Tournament team.