MURFREESBORO — Eagleville had rival Summertown on the ropes Thursday morning.
But it couldn’t finish off its rival.
Summertown ended Eagleville’s season with a 3-2 win, winning 25-21, 26-28, 23-25, 25-22, 15-6 in a losers bracket game at MTSU’s Murphy Center in the TSSAA Class A state volleyball tournament.
“We had a moment in Game 4 when it was like, ‘Yes,'” Leathers said. “We just got out of system.”
And things went downhill.
Summertown jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fifth game and never looked back to defeat Eagleville.
“I don’t know what our mindset was in Game 5,” Leathers said. “We couldn’t get ourselves back in the right mindset to get us back in it.
“I took a timeout and tried to get them to settle down. But we couldn’t get back in it.”
The two schools have become intense rivals in recent years, having met in three of the past four years in Class A sectional games. Eagleville won the 2012 and 2013 postseason meetings. Summertown came from behind to beat Eagleville 3-2 a year ago.
“It’s tough because this is a rival,” Leather said. “I felt like if we were going to go down, I wanted Game 5 to be 16-14. I wanted it to be a battle just because of the record we’ve had with Summertown over the past four or five years.”
Eagleville didn’t have an answer for 6-foot middle hitter McKenzie Kilburn. Leathers said the plan was simply try to rotate Kilburn to the back row as quickly as possible and take advantage of her in the back row.
“I felt like we did that at times,” Leathers said. “I thought we gave them way too many free balls and way too many chances on them to capitalize on it.”
Kristin Barnes, a senior outside hitter, led Eagleville (29-16) with 21 kills and 18 digs. Junior Tori Ladig added 14 kills, seven blocks and four aces. Hannah Cron had six kills. Sydney Parker had 21 digs.
The state tournament appearance was Eagelville’s seventh in program history. Eagleville finished 1-2 at state, but won its first game since going 2-3 in 2001. Eagleville is 10-14 overall in the state tournament.
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.