Smyrna advances after edging Oakland in five

Smyrna advances after edging Oakland in five

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Smyrna advances after edging Oakland in five

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LA VERGNE

History repeated itself Tuesday night.

Smyrna made sure, though, it was history it would like to remember.

The Lady Bulldogs edged Oakland 3-2, winning 25-20, 18-25, 25-13, 19-25, 15-12 in the District 7-AAA volleyball tournament quarterfinals at La Vergne High.

It marked the third straight season the two teams have went five games in the district tournament quarterfinals. The two had split the two previous meetings.

“We told our kids to be fighters, and if they wanted their season to keep going then tonight was the night to keep that going,” Smyrna first-year coach Christy Plecha said. “I think they really believed in themselves and kept pushing.”

Ginger Horton led Smyrna with a match-high 20 kills. Libero Arden Fox had 14 digs and Jayla Raynor added five blocks for the Lady Bulldogs, who face 7-AAA regular-season champion Siegel at 6 p.m. today in the semifinals. Oakland’s season ended with the loss.

Katie Arnette led Oakland (18-32) with 16 kills and three blocks. Taylor Harrell added eight kills. Annie Loats and Arnette each had eight digs.

Oakland jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the deciding Game 5 before Smyrna jumped back in the match behind Horton’s three consecutive kills.

“She was our clutch hitter in this match,” Plecha said. “She is a senior leader for us.”

Oakland built its lead back to 8-4 after a Smyrna error. But Smyrna cut it to 11-10 after an Oakland error. One sideout later, Raynor served out the final five points.

“All of our matches between in the tournament have been that close in the final game,” Oakland coach Jason Sloan said. “It’s never been more than three points in the final. It’s just been unreal.

“At the end right there we just made a couple of mistakes and weren’t able to put the pressure on them like we had during the night. We wanted to just get it to 10, then finish it from there. And we couldn’t do it.”

Blackman 3, La Vergne 0: Playing inspired with teammate Stephanie Gurzi in a wheelchair at courtside, Blackman rolled to the District 7-AAA semifinals with a quick win over the Wolverines, 25-17, 25-11, 25-20.

Gurzi, a starting rightside hitter, tore her ACL in her right knee this past week in a match against Brentwood.

Alexis Boudavong had eight kills to lead Blackman, which will play Riverdale at 7:30 p.m. today. Alex Johnson had six kills and five blocks. Santana Alejandro had five kills.

“We’re not really as shorthanded as anybody else,” Blackman coach Rhonda Ross said.

Riverdale setter Kirsten Inman has an injured foot and hitter Ashleigh Lozier will find out today if she is healthy enough to play.

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