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High School Volleyball

Volleyball: Nolensville takeover continues with championship sweep of Ravenwood

Lady Knights claim first District 11-AAA crown

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Volleyball – Nolensville vs. Brentwood, 11-AAA Championship

BRENTWOOD – For the second consecutive night the Nolensville High School volleyball team swept past District 11-AAA royalty.

The Lady Knights, who joined the league this year after winning back-to-back Class AA state titles, clinched the district title with a 25-18, 25-23, 25-16 win over top-seeded Ravenwood Thursday at Brentwood High School. Nolensville eliminated eight-time defending Class AAA champion Brentwood Wednesday in straight sets and didn’t let up in the championship.

“This is just so awesome,” Lady Knights senior Maymie Guthrie said. “I think this year, even though it’s our first year in AAA, we have set the tone. I think we are going to continue to do awesome things.”

Nolensville coach Brett Young admitted he was “a bit nervous” heading into Thursday’s match especially after such an emotional victory to send Brentwood home before the state tournament for the first time in nine years the night before.

“I knew it was going to be hard for us to match that intensity,” he said. “But, man, they were ready to go again.

“Our kids the last two nights simply were not going to lose. We just played some of our best volleyball of the year.”

Just like Wednesday, Nolensville stunned in the second set by rallying to win late. The Lady Knights trailed by as many as six, but closed within 21-20 on a block from freshman Kaira Knox. Tanya Sichling followed with a kill for the Lady Raptors, but hitting and service errors knotted the game at 22-22. Sichling tipped over the Nolensville block to regain an edge, but another error made it even at 23-all after a Lady Knights timeout.

“We came out of our timeout and we all decided right then that we were not losing no matter what,” said Nolensville sophomore Maggie Allred, who racked up seven blocks.

Maggie Rickert earned a kill from the left for the Nolensville girls and Allred teamed up with Knox to provide a stuff at the net to produce the 2-0 lead.

Allred said her and Knox always work on their blocking skills in practice and it’s been showing all season. Allred leads the team with more than 120 blocks, while Knox has more than 70.

“That’s our favorite thing,” she said. “It’s just the best feeling to go up and get a block and shut it down.”

After trading blows early in the third set, Nolensville pulled away again. Rickert’s slam made it 12-7 and Guthrie robbed Ravenwood of an answer with a diving dig that popped up and dropped behind the Ravenwood front line for a 13-7 advantage.

The Lady Raptors closed within 17-14 when Avery LePore and Reghan Grimes teamed up for a stop, but Nolensville caught fire feeding off another rowdy crowded section of supporters.

“We’re such a small town so we’re very close,” said Guthrie, who closed with 13 digs and six assists. “Having all the support we have from our students, family, coaches and teachers is just amazing.”

The Lady Knights used another fast start to gain some separation early. They led by as many as seven in the opening set, but Ravenwood closed within 21-17. Nolensville regained the momentum after an Avery Young kill from the left side to end a long rally that featured three crucial digs from Peyton Neal. An Allred kill from the middle ultimately ended another back-and-forth rally for the set-clincher.

“Hopefully this can be a stepping stone to what can be a really special couple weeks ahead of us,” coach Young said. “This was a great two days and I’m really proud of this team.”

Rickert and Young managed double-doubles. Rickert had 13 kills and 10 digs, while Young tallied 10 kills and 10 digs. Knox added eight kills and four blocks. 

Both Nolensville and Ravenwood advance to the Region 6-AAA tournament where the Lady Knights will host next week.

Matches will begin Tuesday in Nolensville at 4 p.m. with the hosts facing Independence followed by Ravenwood vs. Page. The winners will face off in the night cap to play for a home Class AAA Sectional match; both move a win away from a state berth. 

2021 All-District 11-AAA Tournament Team

MVP – Maggie Rickert, Nolensville; Kaira Knox, Nolensville; Peyton Neal, Nolensville; Ellie Tant, Nolensville; Tanya Sichling, Ravenwood; Reghan Grimes, Ravenwood; Avery LePore, Ravenwood; Dylan Sulcer, Brentwood; Zoe Oldham, Brentwood; Hollye Tate, Brentwood; Jenna Scully, Centennial; Sydnie Waller, Centennial; Sydney Latta, Franklin.

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