Caly Carlisle

Horseshoe Bend’s Caly Carlisle (10) led the Generals in both victories Monday night.

Getting off on the right foot was just what Horseshoe Bend was looking for as it attempts to win its third straight Class 2A Area 9 volleyball championship.

And that’s exactly what the Generals did by winning a pair of area games Monday night.

Horseshoe Bend first played host to Woodland, which gave the Generals a run for their money early on. HBS had to eke out a 25-21 victory to take a 1-0 lead in the match. But it was all Horseshoe Bend from there. It won the next two sets, 25-9, 25-9, to complete the sweep.

Caly Carlisle had an explosive game against the Bobcats finishing with a team-high eight kills on 14 attempts. Nadia Freeman contributed four kills and four blocks, and Kate Lewis, Harleigh Moss and Jahia Jennings had three kills apiece for the Generals’ well-rounded offense.

Serving was also a strong point for HBS, which totaled 15 aces. Ashley Clanton and Carlisle each had five while Chloe Prickett added three.

Horseshoe Bend continued to have a strong defense with 30 total digs. Ashley Cheatam racked up eight digs and Carlisle and Lewis had five each.

The two-setter rotation continued to grow but Lewis did the bulk of the work with 15 assists; Karsen Kinman had five.

Things only got better for Horseshoe Bend in Match 2 against LaFayette. The Bulldogs put up a decent fight in the middle set of their best-of-three matchup, but ultimately the Generals won, 25-8, 25-19, 25-4.

The offense was even more spread out this time. HBS finished with 22 kills and only three players on the roster did not record. Carlisle led the way with four and Lewis added three; seven different Generals had two kills apiece.

This game allowed even more setters to get in on the action as freshman Hannah Gamble got to shine with 10 assists. Lewis had four.

Lewis added to her stuffed stat sheet with six aces, and Freeman contributed five.

Wildcats struggle at weekend tournament

After Benjamin Russell got off to a rough start against the host Montgomery Academy in a volleyball tournament, it could never find its footing again. The Wildcats suffered losses to MA and Houston Academy to go 0-2 on the day and drop to 6-5 on the season.

BRHS had some of its most lopsided losses against the Eagles, falling 25-13 and 25-10.

It looked like it was headed for another big defeat after losing to Houston Academy, 25-15, in the first set. But the Wildcats quickly gathered itself and earned a 26-24 victory in Set 2 to force a decisive third. They couldn’t hold the momentum though and ultimately lost, 15-11, in Set 3.