Brentwood middle hitter Ashley West (15) goes for a kill against Farragut during the Class AAA state volleyball championship at Siegel High School on Oct. 24 in Murfreesboro.
MURFREESBORO –- Brentwood defended its Class AAA state volleyball title, but it didn’t come without drama.
Brentwood stumbled out of the gate, dropping the first two sets to Farragut in the state championship match before rallying for a five-set victory. It is the 10th state title in school history.
“I knew that if we won the third game that we had a shot,” Brentwood coach Barbara Campbell said. “That would fuel our spirits and our confidence and help us get that confidence back.”
Brentwood fell 25-21 in the first set and 25-22 in the second before coming back to take the third set 25-20 and the fourth set 25-21, setting up a pivotal fifth and final set.
Late in the fifth set with Brentwood leading 12-11, senior Ashley West provided the turning point the Lady Bruins needed blocking two straight shots to give Brentwood a 14-11 lead setting up their last point to win the set 15-11.
“Ashley had been struggling with her block just not getting set and angling it the wrong way instead of blocking inside the court,” Campbell said. “So for her to come up with those key blocks there in the last game it just really fueled a lot of excitement with the rest of the team.”
“It was great,” West said. “All night I had been blocking and they had been going out so I knew I really wanted to step it up and do something for my team because it was my senior year and I knew I had to be there. It was a great feeling to get those two blocks there at the end. It’s amazing, I couldn’t ask for anything else.”
Senior Katie Kemp led the way for the Lady Bruins with 57 assists, on her way to being named the tournament’s most valuable player.
“It’s a great feeling as a setter to be confident in every single hitter,” Kemp said. “I feel like I can go to anyone and they’ll take care of the ball.”
For the senior, winning the state championship her final season and taking home the MVP award was something she has been looking forward to.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and it’s surreal. It’s great. I’m speechless.”
For Campbell it was her 17th trip to the state championship as Brentwood’s head coach and her 10th time to come out on top. Although winning a title is nothing new to her, Campbell says it definitely has yet to lose it’s allure.
“It is just as special, but since it happened right here it is the most special thing in the world,” Campbell said. “I mean down two, come back with this group after losing five incredible players and then to be right back here it’s just really special.”
The third senior of the 2014 squad, Jennifer Roy, finished her last game with 17 digs, 14 kills, three assists, a block and an ace.