MURFREESBORO – It was their stage, and they would command it.
For Brentwood High School seniors Mary Oldham and Shaye Eggleston, the reigning Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year, and the rest of their teammates, Tuesday’s opening-round four-set victory (25-13, 24-26, 25-18, 25-13) over Collierville was just the right start to the seniors' fourth straight state tourney.
State Volleyball Photo Gallery – Brentwood vs. Collierville, Class AAA 1st Round
The Brentwood High School volleyball team advanced out of the first round of the Class AAA State Volleyball tournament with a 25-13, 24-26, 25-13, 25-18 win over Collierville on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 at Siegel High School.
The match took an interesting turn in the second set when the Lady Dragons forced a change in tempo, going to a slow drop-shot offense after realizing they could not match the Lady Bruins’ power game.
“It can be hard to get used to,” Oldham said after the match, “because we practice with a lot of hard driven balls. When you get a lot of short balls and blocks, you just have to make sure you’re covering and pinching the inside.”
“It’s really chaotic, but I feel like in those moments, all the hard work we’ve put in comes through for us,” she said. “You just have to scramble and keep the ball off the floor, and I think we did that.”
Brentwood turned the tables in the third and fourth set, combining their normal powerful front row with a bit of Collierville’s own medicine, dropping short shots unexpectedly and keeping the Lady Dragons guessing.
“Winning those scramble points ultimately gains a lot of momentum,” Oldham said. “Anger drives us and gives us more passion. It just makes us that much more excited when we get a point.”
Brentwood dropping the second game was a bit of a surprise to some observers, as the seven-time defending champions were expected to roll through the first two rounds. Eggleston said it might have been a good wake-up call.
“I think sometimes we let a game get the best of us, but ultimately, we all have the confidence that we are going to find a way to win,” she said.
The Lady Bruins understand there is a huge target on their backs as the winningest program in the state in the 21st century. They've played for the state championship in eight consecutive seasons.
“Every team gets up to play us,” Eggleston said, “so it is especially important for us to never be caught not playing our best.”
MURFREESBORO – Battle Ground Academy senior Christine Jewell stepped off the volleyball cour…
Eggleston led Brentwood statistically with 24 kills and 15 digs, while Oldham added 15 kills and four aces from the service line. Haley Sanders and Meredith Moody also did a good job of keeping the ball in play with 20 and nine digs, respectively. Sophomore Dylan Sulcer guided the offense with 46 assists, while Haley Carpenter added 11.
The Lady Bruins continue their march without the physical presence of legendary mentor Barbara Campbell, a 15-time state champion head coach, who is recovering from health issues.
Brentwood will face Cookeville at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday after the Lady Cavaliers swept Science Hill 25-15, 25-15, 25-11.
2020 Class AAA State Tournament
All matches at Siegel High School
Brentwood def. Collierville, 25-13, 24-26, 25-13, 25-18
Cookeville def. Science Hill, 25-15, 25-15, 25-11
Houston def. Station Camp, 22-25, 25-19, 16-25, 25-22, 16-14
Maryville def. Siegel, 28-26, 13-25, 25-23, 25-22
9:30 a.m. – Brentwood (35-3) vs. Cookeville (29-6)
12 p.m. – Houston (25-6) vs. Maryville (31-4)
2:30 p.m. – Collierville (15-10) vs. Science Hill (28-5), loser out
5 p.m. – Station Camp (27-3) vs. Siegel (30-7), loser out