MURFREESBORO — Brentwood and Siegel will meet up in the Class AAA State Volleyball Tournament’s winner’s bracket finals after both captured a pair of wins on Wednesday.
The Lady Bruins and Lady Stars will battle at 1 p.m. Thursday at Blackman High for a spot in the state finals. The loser plays at 4:30 p.m. in the losers bracket final, with that winner also earning a title-game berth.
Two-time defending Class AAA champion Brentwood faced little resistance on Day 1 of the 2015 TSSAA Class AAA State Volleyball Championships at Middle Tennessee State University.
The Lady Bruins (50-3), gunning for their 11th overall state title and second three-peat of coach Barbara Campbell’s 28-year career, blew away the competition on Wednesday, rolling to lopsided wins over Ooltewah and Farragut by a combined 6-0 tally.
After capturing a convincing 25-9, 25-15, 25-15 win over Ooltewah, the Lady Bruins, now 83-19 (.813) in 21 state tournament appearances, picked up right where they left off in Wednesday’s winner’s bracket semifinal — despite the match being delayed 175 minutes due to a prolonged power outage at Murphy Center.
“It was kind of hard to sit for such a long time and wait that long to finally get to play again, but I think that rest gave us time for prepare and get excited,” Brentwood sophomore outside hitter Garrett Joiner said. “We still have a really strong team with our seniors. (Farragut is) young, but they’re still really strong, and it felt great to beat them in three.”
Brentwood, which knocked off Farragut in last year’s Class AAA title match, coasted to a 25-11 win in game one. The Lady Bruins followed that up with a 25-21 triumph over the Lady Admirals before sealing the match with a 25-13 victory.
“I want that (championship) more than anything,” Joiner said. “Last year, that was probably the best moment of my life, and I want to feel that again.”
Siegel is happy to be back in the same spot as last season.
“It’s a great feeling knowing we are one win from going further than we were last year,” Siegel senior Kristin Demonbreun said. “We’ve finished in this spot two years in a row, and we’ve all agreed that we don’t want to stop there. We want to move on.”
The winner’s bracket final is a rematch of a year ago that Brentwood won. Siegel fell to Farragut to finish third for the second consecutive season. Siegel is the last Tennessee Class AAA team to defeat the Lady Bruins, winning in the first week of the 2014 season.
After cruising to a sweep of White Station (25-11, 25-11, 25-13), Siegel beat Bearden 3-1 (25-27, 26-24, 25-11, 25-19).
Asha Phillips, a Tennessee commitment, and Katelyn Lester each had 18 kills to lead Siegel. Tennessee Tech commitment Liz Bossong had 40 digs.
Franklin stays alive
Franklin (30-12), making its first state tournament appearance since 2006, dropped its opening-round game — a 3-1 defeat to Bearden — but the District 11-AAA and Region 6-AAA runner-up Lady Rebels managed to stave off elimination with a 3-2 win over White Station on Wednesday night.
“We had a really, really difficult day,” second-year Franklin coach Amber Holzer said. “We didn’t play very well in our first match, and then we were sitting around for hours and hours and hours expecting to play late tonight. We just weren’t in the right mindset.”
Franklin jumped out to a 2-0 lead over White Station but allowed the Lady Spartans to knot things up at 2-2. The Lady Rebels secured a spot in Thursday’s action with a 15-7 victory in the fifth set.
“You would have thought we were fine because we won the first two games, but we just let up and didn’t play our game,” Holzer said. “I’m glad we were able to finish in the end, but we’re definitely not pleased with our performance today.”
Franklin will face Farragut (45-6) in Thursday’s 10 a.m. losers bracket match at Murphy Center.
Father Ryan staves off elimination
Trailing 2-0 and tied at 21 in the third set Wednesday at Siegel, it appeared as if Father Ryan would see its season end without winning a set in the DII-AA state tournament.
“In volleyball, you cannot count anyone out,” Father Ryan coach Jinx Cockerham said. “The game depends so much on reaction.”
After dropping the first two sets 25-22 and 26-24 to St. Agnes, Father Ryan was 0-5 in sets on the day and had no choice but to react well, or call it a season.
“We kept pushing the conditioning,” Cockerham said. “We do a lot of running and they don’t like it. I kept telling them, ‘it’ll pay pay off, it’ll pay off.’ And I think conditioning paid off for us tonight.”
Lauren Dorrell found her groove and led the Irish back with a team-high 31 kills on top of 13 digs, an ace and an assist.
“Lauren was awesome tonight,” Cockerham said. “She put us on her shoulders and carried us home.”
Teammate Maggie Thompson had a game-high 42 assists.
The Lady Irish will battle the loser of Baylor vs. Briarcrest at MTSU’s Murphy Center at 2:30 p.m. Thursday with a berth in the state finals on the line.
Father Ryan was forced into the losers bracket with a straight-set loss (21-25, 16-25, 25-19) to Briarcrest Wednesday afternoon.
Maggie Thompson led the Lady Irish with a team-high 18 assists and 12 kills.
Page goes 1-1 on first day
After taking down Jackson South Side in straight sets earlier in the day, Page got a taste of its own medicine, dropping its Class AA quarterfinal match to Sullivan South in three sets.
All three sets were hard-fought, as Page fell 25-21 and 25-23 before dropping the third 25-18.
Carli Batsel finished with a team-high 12 kills and four aces, while Abby Sacks tallied eight kills.
The Patriots will try to stay alive Thursday when they take on the loser of Hixon and Dyersburg at 11:30 a.m. at Siegel.
Hume-Fogg battles back
Hume-Fogg’s volleyball team lived to play another day after staving off elimination and handing Jackson South Side a 3-0 loss in the Class AA elimination round Wednesday evening at Siegel.
“It’s not like it’s unfamiliar for us to have to fight our way back,” Hume-Fogg coach Emily Moore said. “We knew we had to do it, and we did.”
Ellie Buffler tallied nine kills and eight digs, Sophie Badgett had 25 assists and Christiana Keith racked up 21 digs in the Lady Blue Knights’ win.
“We played a lot more loose this game,” Moore said. “We’ve got a win under our belt going into tomorrow and it feels good.”
Hume-Fogg, which suffered a 25-16, 25-18, 25-22 loss to Sullivan South earlier in the day, moves on to face the loser of Knoxville Catholic and Signal Mountain Thursday at 10 a.m. at Siegel.
Eagleville survived elimination with a 16-25, 19-25, 20-25 win over Signal Mountain Wednesday evening. That came after the Lady Eagles dropped a 25-22, 25-15, 23-25, 22-25, 15-12 decision to Jackson County earlier in the day. Jackson County dropped into the Thursday’s losers bracket play with a 17-25, 25-18, 25-12, 25-23 loss to Concord Christian Wednesday evening.
Goodpasture (40-11) dropped its first match on Wednesday (25-22, 25-21, 26-28, 25-23 to South Greene) and played against Trinity Christian in an elimination game later.
Michael Murphy, Tom Kreager and Sam Brown contributed to this report.