So close, yet so far

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 21, 2011

Alison Daniels wipes her tears away after the Lady Bulldogs are knocked out out the state playoffs.

CALERA — All it took was one point.

With the third game tied 7-7, Andalusia and Calera traded shots back and forth, playing stout defense.

Calera then won the eighth point, and with a 2-0 lead, the Lady Eagles rolled to a 3-0 sweep over Andalusia at the Class 4A sub-state round on Thursday.

With this victory, the Lady Eagles will advance to their first appearance at the Elite 8 state championships next week in Pelham.

The Lady Bulldogs ends their season with a 15-14 record.

“We just lost momentum,” AHS head volleyball coach Angie Grimes said. “We had too many passing errors. We just didn’t play well on a day that we needed to.”

CHS entered the sub-state round with shirts that read, “That Loud Team: Calera Volleyball.”

With the crowd behind the Lady Eagles, Calera battled early and late throughout the match, coming back from Andalusia runs to seal the deal in the 25-23, 28-26, 25-19 win.

In the first game, Calera went up 4-1 early, but the Lady Bulldogs crawled back to lead at 7-6. Andalusia then took a 13-9 lead to force a CHS time out.

The Lady Bulldogs led 15-11, and took a 19-15 lead before things started going sour for AHS.

Rotation violations were called late, which gave Calera the needed momentum to close out the first game, despite an Andalusia late rally to tie it 23-23.

The Lady Bulldogs seemed in control in game two, taking an early 6-1 lead, but the Lady Eagles went on a 6-0 run to tie it 6-6.

Things started going back in Andalusia’s way late in the second game, and the Lady Bulldogs led 23-17 at one point.

Calera, with its back to the wall, rallied and went on a 6-0 run to tie the game up at 23 apiece.

Andalusia and Calera went back and forth, but the Lady Eagles had the upper hand, winning by two points at 28-26.

“I really don’t know. I don’t have anything to say,” Grimes said. “I’m not blaming it on anybody.”

After taking the 8-7 third-game lead, Calera never let up, taking leads of 18-11, 19-13.

Andalusia crept back in the game late, trailing 18-21 when the Lady Eagles took a time out to talk things over.

The Lady Bulldogs then were outscored 4-1 by Calera.

Andalusia’s Alison Daniels had 11 kills and five aces. Shi’Amber Townsend had six kills.