Hoover huddles during its game against McGill-Toolen at Mountain Brook's Spartan Arena on Thursday, August 25, 2016.
The Hoover High School volleyball team lost a pair of three-set matches to defending Class 7A state finalists Mountain Brook and McGill-Toolen on Thursday, Aug. 25.
The three teams participated in a tri-match at Mountain Brook’s Spartan Arena on the first night of the 2016 volleyball season. The event essentially served as a primer for the Juanita Boddie Tournament, which Hoover will host today and tomorrow.
“We were in a position to win in both matches,” Hoover head coach Chris Camper said. “We played with passion, with energy, but in the end we didn’t execute.”
Hoover played its first match of the night against Mountain Brook, the two-time defending state champion, and took the Spartans down to the wire. The Bucs won a tightly-contested first set, 25-23, but dropped the second set, 25-20.
In the deciding frame, Hoover gained a 14-13 advantage and held match point. But a last-gasp run from Mountain Brook resulted in a three-point swing, and the Spartans pulled out a 16-14, third-set victory to seal the match.
Nora Webster recorded nine kills and four digs; Kyra Hunter recorded six kills and seven digs; and Olivia Portera recorded nine digs in the Bucs’ season-opening loss.
Hoover followed a similar blueprint in its second match of the night — a 25-15, 14-25, 18-20 loss to McGill-Toolen.
The Bucs cruised through the opening set, got gashed in the second set and then battled to the end in the third set.
Hoover held a 12-6 lead in the first-to-15 final frame, but couldn’t hold it together when it mattered most. McGill-Toolen went on an 8-2 run to make it 14-14 before squeaking out the victory.
“We didn’t finish tonight,” Camper said. “We had a six or seven point lead, but couldn’t pass the ball.”
Webster finished the second match with eight kills and Hunter with seven kills.