Franklin had the start they wanted despite some sloppy play in the Lady Rebels opener at the Class AAA State Volleyball Tournament at Middle Tennessee State University Wednesday.

Franklin was leading Bearden by as many as four at one point in that first set, but then miscues began to pile up. The Lady Bulldogs rallied to secure a 25-23 first set victory and went on to claim the match 25-18, 14-25, 25-17.

Zoe Aebie dig

Zoe Aebie of Franklin scoops up a dig during the Lady Rebels 3-1 loss to Bearden in the first first round of the Class AAA State Volleyball Tournament Wednesday at MTSU. 

“I think we worked hard, it just wasn't effective,” Franklin coach Amber Holzer said. “We didn’t do our jobs and it made it very difficult to play within our system. We were scattered.”

Wednesday night, Franklin held off White Station for a five-set win after more than a two-hour delay and venue change because of a power outage. The Lady Rebels won 25-21, 25-16, 18-25, 22-25, 15-7. 

Franklin again fights to stay alive in the tournament against Farragut at 10 a.m. at Blackman High School Thursday. 

The Lady Rebels failed to answer the big swing from junior standout and Nebraska commit Chesney McClellan, who piled up more than dozen kills in the opener.

“We let her do too much,” Holzer said, adding that the volleyball stud consistently forced Franklin out of position. “All in all, we just didn’t play Franklin volleyball.”

Franklin rally

Mackenzie LePage led Franklin with 12 kills and eight digs. Both Jodi Hill and Julie Keener helped pace the Franklin offense, while Zoe Aebie anchored the back-row defense with 16 digs to go with three aces. Breanna Carlton had 25 assists and seven digs. 

The Lady Rebels are making their first state appearance in nine years.

The loss pits them in consolation play where they will face White Station Wednesday in a loser-out contest. White Station fell 25-11, 25-11, 25-13 to Siegel.

Due to a power outage at MTSU, the match will be played at Alumni Memorial Gym. 

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