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Ravenwood claims district battle with Centennial

Centennial’s Emily Grams (15) and Sarah Ngo-Loose (12) look to block against Ravenwood’s Payton Logan (18).  Closing in to assist Logan are Emily Svennevik (24)and Kat Hutson (6). PHOTO BY BECKY WILLIAMS
With sole possession of second place in District 11-AAA on the line at Centennial Tuesday night, Ravenwood volleyball coach Tracey Berry was not happy.  Her Lady Raptors, the defending state champions, were tied with the Lady Cougars with one win each, but trailing in the third game 11-7.  She called time out.

“I told them I’m going home if you aren’t going to play.”

The Lady Raptors apparently did not want her leave, reeling off an 11-4 run to take an 18-15 lead in a come-from-behind 25-22 victory.  That set the stage for victory in game four 25-23 to give Ravenwood a 3-1 match win and second place in the district.

“I thought Centennial outworked us,” said Berry after the match.  “They were on the floor wanting every ball.  We knew it was going to be a battle when we came in here.

“We got lucky coming in here and getting away with a win because we didn’t really play well tonight.  We both played this weekend, we’re both tired teams because the district is a tough district to go through.  We’re just fortunate we got lucky tonight.”

Ravenwood opened the match with a 6-1 run in the first game that seemed to put them in control.  A 9-6 stretch closed Centennial out of the first game 25-18.

But the Lady Cougars fought back, winning game two by the same 25-18 score, turning back every rally Ravenwood attempted as junior Maddie Earp fired multiple kills.  Game three was a see-saw affair, followed by a fourth game that was equally unbalanced.  Centennial tried to fight out of an early 17-10 hole, pulling to within 24-23 before unforced errors handed the game, and the match, to Ravenwood.

Centennial coach Brittany Rhinehart was visibly disappointed after the match, as was her team.

“They are disappointed.  We’ve got to get mentally tough and we’ve got to find a way to get past it.  We have the talent and the technical ability to do that, but we aren’t mentally tough right now.  It’s not anything that can be taught, it’s something that they have to dig within themselves and how to push past that.  They’ve gotta fight back after a tough loss when they know they could have won.”

Centennial’s first chance was yesterday with a late out of district game with Page before hitting the road this evening to face Dickson County.

“I do this to build mental toughness.  It’s not a skill thing, it’s not a volleyball thing; it’s mental.”

For Ravenwood, the big challenge comes this weekend when the Lady Raptors host a duel match with BGA and Mercy High School from Louisville, a team that last week beat cross town rival and the nation’s number one ranked Assumption High School.  After the match, the Lady Raptors will host a clinic for eighth-graders from Holy Rosary in Memphis.  Holy Rosary team members requested the mentoring after watching Ravenwood in a tournament in Collierville earlier in the year.

Posted on: 9/11/2013


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