Area teams limping into postseason play this week

Area teams limping into postseason play this week

News

Area teams limping into postseason play this week

By

MURFREESBORO

Riverdale volleyball coach Jerry Snider has battled adversity through injuries before.

And he will again this postseason.

The Lady Warriors enter the District 7-AAA tournament with a pair of injured starters. It marks the fourth straight year Riverdale has not been 100 percent at the end of the season.

Outside hitter Ashleigh Lozier had an MRI on Saturday and won’t know the results until today or Wednesday, Snider said. Setter Kristen Inman is expected to play with a cracked bone in her foot, and middle hitter Kenia Azor will play with fluid on her knee.

“What’s crazy is that injuries have always hit me it seems,” Snider said. “Last year (current MTSU freshman) Chelsea Ross had a stress fracture early in the season then a small cartilage tear (in her knee) later that year.

“Kirsten Taylor got hurt in July the year before and she was my No. 1 outside. Then before that (setter) Riana Cain tore her ACL. The Good Lord has put us in position to adapt and overcome. We’ll see what we can do.”

The District 7-AAA tournament tips off at 6 p.m. today with the entire tournament being played at La Vergne High. Oakland, which is the fourth seed, plays fifth seed Smyrna. Third-seed Blackman plays sixth-seed La Vergne afterward.

In District 8-AA, third-seed Central Magnet plays second-seed Upperman at 6:30 p.m. today at Livingston Acadmemy.

The Oakland-Smyrna winner plays top-seed Siegel at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Riverdale plays the Blackman-La Vergne winner afterward.

Siegel is the defending district tournament champion and has reached three straight state tournaments.

“We’re going to be ready for anything against anybody we play, whether we’ve beaten them in the past or not,” said Siegel first-year coach Laura Pierce. “Honestly, for a lot of the teams in the district for them to beat Siegel and put them out of districts would make their high school career.”

Blackman will play without senior rightside hitter Stephanie Gurzi, who tore her ACL this past weekend in the Mid-Tenn tournament.

“Stephanie was a voice for us on our team,” Blackman coach Rhonda Ross said. “She was the person that kept us up and kept us at a high energy level.”

Ross said she is not looking past the first round despite opening the tournament with the bottom-seeded Lady Wolverines.

“You can’t look past them at all,” Ross said. “They’ve played us strong. We did well against them, but they gave us a scare the whole time.”

La Vergne coach Shawn Robinson made an adjustment to his lineup three weeks ago, moving outside hitter Tia Freeman to setter. It has helped the Lady Wolverines’ offensive attack.

“At the beginning of the season she tried to convince me to move her there,” Robinson said. “She’s all about the team. “Having her there gives us more options, either her striking it on the second hit if she is in the front. She gets our hitters more options.”

Oakland swept Smyrna in district play in the regular season, but Oakland coach Jason Sloan said that means little in the playoffs. This marks the third straight season the two teams have opened against each other.

“We’ve gone five each time (in the district tournament),” Sloan said. “The girls know that Smyrna will be tough. It’s been tough the last couple.

“I told our girls you don’t look at Siegel until after (today).”

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports