MURFREESBORO — The goal remains in place for Brentwood and Goodpasture.
Both Middle Tennessee high school volleyball programs are still in contention to defend their respective Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association state volleyball titles after both went 2-0 on Wednesday as the three-day state tournament began.
Goodpasture, which has won the past three Division I Class A state championships as well as the 2012 Class AA title, can make a bid for a fifth consecutive crown with a win over Concord Christian (23-9) in the Class A winners bracket final at 1 p.m. Thursday at Middle Tennessee State’s Murphy Center.
The loser plays afterward in the losers bracket final, with that winner also reaching the title game.
“We saw the other teams in the gym,” said Goodpasture senior Jordan Jones, who had 16 kills in a 3-1 win over Summertown to open the tournament. “We saw them watching us play. We’ve done this before. We’ve done it. We know what it takes.”
Goodpasture reached the winners bracket final with a 3-0 win over South Greene, which finished runner-up to the Lady Cougars a year ago.
Likewise, Brentwood (49-4) can keep its streak of championships intact with a win over Hardin Valley (33-9) in Class AAA when they play at 1 p.m. Brentwood has won three straight Class AAA titles and 11 overall.
Ranked 23rd nationally by MaxPreps, Brentwood opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over Bartlett before needing four games to take care of 2015 runner-up Farragut.
The Lady Admirals won the first set 25-23 over Brentwood before the Lady Bruins recovered. Brentwood’s Logan Eggleston had a team-high 24 kills. Garrett Joiner added 21.
“I think they wanted it more the first game,” said Joiner, a Virginia commitment. “We knew that wasn’t how we could play. We played with less errors.”
Defending Division II-AA state champion Father Ryan was eliminated, falling 3-0 to Baylor and 3-2 to rival Harpeth Hall. The Lady Irish led 2-1 before falling 25-10, 15-13 in the final two games.
Brentwood’s win over Farragut came in their first meeting of the season. The Lady Bruins defeated Hardin Valley 2-0 on Aug. 20 in a tournament in Knoxville.
“We were really curious and had anxiety,” Brentwood coach Barbara Campbell said of the Farragut game. “It’s a relief to know now what you are playing against. We know the challenge now.”
Campbell acknowledged that although the Lady Bruins need to win just one game to reach the state finals, that isn’t the goal.
“It is a relief that we just have the one game,” Campbell said. “But we know it’s not just one more. We’re planning on the finals too.”
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.
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