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High School Volleyball

Volleyball: Local tournament to boast the state’s best

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Destiny Cherry

Destiny Cherry of Summit attempts to tip the ball over Mary Oldham of Brentwood. Both players will be a part of a large volleyball tournament in Franklin Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. 

For the past several years the state’s top volleyball teams and those from surrounding states have descended upon Franklin for a massive tournament at the TOA Sports Performance Center, formerly known as the A-Game Sportsplex.

Before COVID-19 guidelines, 2020’s tournament was going to be even bigger and feature every 2019 Tennessee state champion and include more than 50 teams with visitors from Kentucky and Alabama included. Due to safety reasons and travel protocols, the tournament has been reduced to 30 teams and will be played over one day on Saturday.

“It’s been a challenge,” tournament coordinator and Summit High School volleyball coach Warne Riker said. “Regardless, we still have seven of the top 10 teams in the state of Tennessee coming. I’m still excited to see this come together.”

The tournament features seven-time defending Class AAA champion Brentwood, last year’s runner-up Houston and another state title contender in Cookeville and Collierville along with the likes of Siegel and Station Camp as well as Anderson County, Hickman County and Hazel Green of Alabama. Locally, the Lady Spartans and Lady Bruins will be joined by Ravenwood, Page and defending Class AA champion Nolensville.

The teams will play in waves of three-team beginning Saturday morning in three-hour blocks over six of the TOA Sports Performance Center’s 12 courts to assure social distancing. Bracket play will follow with finals expected to be played Saturday night.

Riker said he teamed up Patricia Flowers of Siegel and combined the two schools’ tournament. The Lady Stars had scheduled a tournament in Murfreesboro this weekend as well, but joined with Summit in Franklin.

“We didn’t want to be competing tournaments so we decided to put this together,” Riker said. “There’s going to be some great play Saturday and it will be a good test for all the teams to see where they stack up.”

Pool play begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with three separate brackets to be determined and played out through the day.

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