MURFREESBORO — The two-time defending Class AAA volleyball champions will get a chance at a third consecutive title and 11th overall.
Brentwood defeated Siegel 25-20, 25-21, 25-21 Wednesday at Blackman High in a rematch of last year’s winners bracket final.
“The kids get really excited at tournament time,” Brentwood coach Barbara Campbell said. “They see that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
“They can finally realize the reward. They are determined. And they are playing like it.”
Brentwood (51-3) plays at 3 p.m. Friday at MTSU’s Murphy Center in the championship against Farragut, which won 3-0 over Siegel (37-10) in the losers bracket final.
Kaela Massey led the Lady Bruins with nine kills. Teammate Garrett Joiner had eight kills and three blocks. Megan Jantzi had a team-high six blocks.
Leah Poarch led Siegel with 12 kills. Teammate Asha Phillips, a Tennessee commitment, added nine. Siegel went 0-3 against Brentwood this season.
Siegel lost 21-25, 19-25, 23-25 to Farragut, which was coming off a five-set thriller against Houston.
“It’s been three years in a row,” Siegel junior Leah Poarch said. “We put so much work in and not pulling it out, it’s really deflating.
“It’s really hard on us, but we gave it all we could. It just didn’t turn out.”
Another rally for Lady Irish: For the second time in as many matches, Father Ryan successfully dug itself out of a 2-0 hole to avoid elimination.
The Lady Irish will make a return trip to the DII-AA final after a 22-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-16, 15-12 win over defending champ Baylor.
Father Ryan (39-10), which dropped both of their regular-season matches to Baylor, fell behind early to the defending champion Lady Red Raiders (44-6) in the losers bracket final.
“We spotted them nine points in the first set,” said Father Ryan coach Jinx Cockerham, whose team faced a 20-5 first-set deficit before ultimately suffering a 25-22 decision. “We were already on I-24.”
The Lady Irish were down, but, as shown in the final three sets, they were far from out.
“I don’t know what it is with our team and being down 2-0,” said Father Ryan senior Lauren Dorrell, whose team also erased a 2-0 deficit in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over St. Agnes. “I think we just have a reality check when we’re down two.
“You know that with the third match, you either win or you’re gone.”
That’s precisely what the Lady Irish did, too, using a 25-23 third-set win to trim their deficit to 2-1, and once they got on that roll, they were virtually unstoppable.
“We were fortunate enough to adjust our serve reception, which really hurt us in the first set, and once we did that we were able to get sets to our best hitters,” Cockerham said. “(Dorrell) ended up taking over for us, which we’ve kind of been waiting for her to do.”
Dorrell finished with a match-high 32 kills for the Lady Irish, who will face Briarcrest in Friday’s 10:30 a.m. championship match at Murphy Center.
Lady Cougars claw back: Goodpasture was faced with a tall order.
The three-time defending champion Lady Cougars found themselves having to pull off three straight wins to secure a fifth straight championship game appearance.
That’s precisely what they did, too, as Goodpasture coasted to a pair of comfortable wins over Jackson County 3-1 and Summertown 3-0 before edging Concord Christian in the Class A losers bracket final 21-25, 25-11, 22-25, 25-10, 15-11.
“This was a hard day, and yesterday was a hard day to bounce back from,” Goodpasture coach Lynn Dearing said. “We played some really good teams today and my girls just came through clutch, and at the right time.”
The Lady Cougars, led by junior middle blocker Jordan Jones, will face South Greene in Friday’s championship match at noon.
The Lady Rebels defeated Goodpasture 3-1 on Wednesday.
“I feel like if we play our game and don’t get rattled we’ll be all right,” Dearing added. “We got rattled (on Wednesday), and I just think we tried too hard. If we just settle down and play we’ll be in good shape.”
Eagleville dropped a 25-21, 26-28, 23-25, 25-22, 15-6 decision to Summertown to end its season.
Franklin falls to Farragut: Franklin (30-13) made its exit in Class AAA after suffering a 25-13, 25-17, 27-25 defeat to Farragut — the Lady Rebels’ second loss to a Knoxville-area squad in three matches.
The Lady Rebels played better in the third set, building a 23-18 advantage.
“That’s the type of volleyball we had been playing for the last couple of weeks,” Franklin coach Amber Holzer said. “We’ve been inconsistent in playing that way … Hopefully next season when we come out to play we play with that consistency all the time. We’re completely capable, we just have to decide.
“We have a pretty young team, and the fact that they’re able to see this level of volleyball, know what the expectation is and know what it takes in order to get here, it’s really, really important.”
Hume-Fogg ousted: Hume-Fogg couldn’t ride the momentum of Wednesday’s elimination-round win on Thursday, as the Lady Blue Knights fell to Signal Mountain 25-15, 25-22, 25-20 in Class AA.
“We really weren’t expected to be here,” Hume-Fogg coach Emily Moore said. “We peaked in the postseason and we really found our rhythm.”
Sophie Badgett led the team with 20 assists and Kendall Bullock had eight kills. Senior libero Christiana Keith finished with 15 digs in her last game in a Hume-Fogg uniform.
Sullivan South tops Page again: After two smooth matches earlier in the day, Page ran into its state tournament Kryptonite in Sullivan South.
Less than 24 hours after sending Page to the losers bracket, Sullivan South eliminated Page 20-25, 25-23, 25-12, 26-24.
The Lady Patriots made quick work of Dyersburg 3-0 before taking down Signal Mountain 3-1.
“They would not quit,” Page coach Rick Hess said. “That’s the defining thing about this team. It’s just a team that will not quit.”
Senior outside hitter Carli Batsel had the stat line of the day racking up 22 digs and 20 kills in Page’s win over Dyersburg.
– Gannett Tennessee’s Michael Murphy, Tom Kreager and Sam Brown contributed to this report.