I haven’t been ill in a few years, so please forgive both the lateness and brevity of this Court Report. Writing from on your back is a challenge!
Let’s start with a little bonus Friday story on account of the 24-hour delay in this report.
Brentwood Gets Ninth!
National No. 18 Brentwood captured its state record ninth Tennessee title by defeating No. 17 Ravenwood 3-1 on Friday in the Class AAA final. MVP Sarah Tuttle struck from the right side on match point in the seventh meeting of the year between the teams to give the Bruins (3-4) versus Ravenwood the title and avenge a loss to the Raptors from the day before. Ravenwood was the three-time reigning state champion and defeated Brentwood in a five-set final in 2012. The teams have played 15 times over the past two seasons, with Ravenwood owning an 8-7 edge. Brentwood finished the season 59-4, with all four losses to Ravenwood. Ravenwood ended 57-5, losing thrice to Brentwood and once each to No. 3 Mercy Academy and No. 7 Mother McAuley.
Another nationally-ranked team, Goodpasture, completed an undefeated season by winning its second consecutive Tennessee state title on Friday. The Cougars (48-0), who won Class AA last year before moving down to Class A this fall, swamped Southern Greene in the final behind MVP Macy Reece, who had 19 kills.
In other key news since Thursday’s national rankings…
No. 13 Kamehameha rallied from a two-set deficit to defeat No. 19 Punahou to win the Interscholastic League of Honolulu title on Thursday, securing the No. 1 seed for the Warriors at next week’s Division I state tournament. Punahou, which had clinched a state berth previously, is the two-time defending state champions.
Tiyana Hallums led Kamehameha with 19 kills, libero Mia Heirakuji was great in the back row and Faith Ma’afala, slowed all year by double ankle injuries, sparked the team off the bench.
Kamehameha’s win, its third in four meetings versus the Buffanblu this year, gave the Warriors to ILH title for the first time since 2008. If history is any guide, they will meet Punahou one last time on Nov. 2. ILH teams have played one another in the championship match every year since 2002.
Cowan, the defending Indiana Class A champions, almost made an early exit in the 2013 playoffs. The Blackhawks survived three match points against versus Daleville before pulling out the 19-17 win in the opening round of the Cowan Sectional. Cowan, led by junior libero Valorie Flick, had 98 digs in the tense, five-set affair.
Defending Indiana 4A champion Avon, taken to five sets by Martinsville just three weeks ago, recovered from a Game 1 setback to win a sectional matchup with the Artesians in four sets. Rebekah Strange had the last of her 12 kills, which matched Beth Prince, to clinch the match for Avon (31-3), whose coach, Scott McQueen, attended Martinsville 20 years ago.
In North Carolina, Hough (30-1) ousted defending 4A champion Ardrey Kell in straight sets in a third-round tournament match, avenging a loss in last year’s state semifinals. Senior OH Julia Brown led the way with 15 kills and 11 digs.
In another 4A match, Wakefield got strong efforts from setter Gabrielle Benda and OH Darian Mack in getting by Millbrook to advance to the fourth round. Two days before, the Wolverines outlasted Apex, 15-13 in the fifth, on a kill from Maya Muldrow.
Undefeated Toledo St. Ursula was expecting a test from Perrysburg (23-3) in a Division I district final Thursday night. But the Arrows (26-0) played their best all-around match of the season in sweeping to victory against a Perrysburg team that had won 20 straight matches entering the contest. Elizabeth Coil had 13 kills and Maurissa Leonard 19 digs in the win for TSUA.
State champion’s salute!
Oklahoma completed its 2013 high school season last Saturday, with nationally-ranked Edmond Santa Fe and Heritage Hall claiming the 6A and 5A titles, respectively.
Santa Fe won its fifth title overall but first since 2004 by sweeping Edmond North. The Wolves (36-1) defeated North (29-4) for the fourth time in five meetings this year.
OH Bailey Otto, a transfer from Bishop McGuinness, was named tournament MVP for Santa Fe, which also placed MB Jordan Spence and libero Samantha Eldridge on the all-tournament team. Santa Fe ended the year on a 30-match winning streak.
“We played outstanding volleyball,” said coach Will Ethridge. “We clearly peaked at the right time this season!!”
Heritage Hall, No. 1 in Class 5A all year long, won its first title since 2008 and ninth overall by defeating No. 2 Lincoln Christian in four sets to win for first-year head coach Dana Schwab. OH Bradi Ryan was named MVP for Heritage Hall, which lost Game 3 in extra points before building an 18-10 lead in the fourth and cruising to the win. The Chargers had lost the past two years in the finals, both in five sets, to Cascia Hall.
Other news & notes…
Ransom-Everglades (my alma mater) won its second straight Smoothie King Invitational in South Florida on Saturday, outlasting then-nationally-ranked Westminster Christian. Senior S/RS Nikki Colonna, a Lynn recruit, was named MVP after recording six kills and 14 assists. Colonna is the daughter of the sister of my sister’s high school best friend! Caroline Sklaver, Lisette Tellez and Terre Bernace all made the all-tournament team for my beloved Raiders against Westminster Christian (home of ARod), our biggest rivals when I was there.
An MVP effort by Jesse Kopmeyer carried Marian to the Beast of the East title in Michigan on Saturday, a tournament featuring most of the state’s top teams. Nationally-ranked Dakota suffered its first loss of the season in the first round of bracket play to Lake Orion, which lost in the quarters to Northville, which fell in the semifinals to Marian, which won the championship over Grand Rapids Christian. Paige Carey joined Kopmeyer on the all-tournament team for Marian, which was ranked nationally in the pre-season.
Bayside Academy won the Margaret Blalock Memorial Tournament in Alabama on Saturday by defeating McGill-Toolen for the fifth time this season in the semifinals and avenging a loss to Hoover on Thursday by sweeping the final. Bayside (50-8), which has won 11 straight small-school state titles, was led by senior setter Sydney Chandler, who on Monday set a national record for career assists with 6,156 and counting!
Xavier College Prep won the elite Platinum Division at the 5th annual Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona on Saturday. The Gators defeated St. Joseph’s of St. Louis in the final. OH Khalia Lanier, MVP of 15 Open for AZ Storm last summer, earned MVP honors for the tournament, while setter Dani Westfall and libero Chaney Hart also made the all-tournament team. “The Gators are feeling confident getting ready for the State Tournament starting in 2 weeks,” said first-year head coach Lamar Bryant.
Setter Sami Knight was stellar as Sandburg won the Maine West Pumpkin Invitational on Saturday, defeating Oak Park in the finals.
Jen Borio had 16 kills as undefeated Padua made a big statement on Tuesday, thumping the state’s No. 2 team St. Mark’s, 25-18, 25-16, 25-11. St. Mark’s has lost only twice all year, both sweeps at the hands of the Pandas.
Sophomore setter Maddie Yoss had 58 assists, 12 digs and seven kills and senior OH Katie Hohenwalter contributed 25 kills on Saturday as Divine Savior Holy Angels outlasted nationally-ranked Menomonee Falls, 15-11 in the fifth, to win the Greater Metro Conference tournament in Milwaukee.
Charlotte Country Day and Covenant Day will meet today for the title in North Carolina’s Class 3A independent schools division. Charlotte Latin, which had won nine straight 3A titles, lost to Ravenscroft in the quarterfinals.
I was going to include a section on Best Assistant Coaches but I simply don’t have the energy. Look for it in next week’s Court Report.