No surprises: Ravenwood and Brentwood in state title match
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
Many in Williamson County thought this week’s Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class AAA volleyball state tournament was just an exercise for Ravenwood and Brentwood to warm up for the title game.
They were right.
The pair fought a four-set war in the winner’s bracket finals Thursday afternoon, with the fourth game a study in momentum swings. The Bruins used a 10-1 run to take an 18-12 lead but after a time-out, scored only one more point as the Raptors went on a 13-1 run to end the game and the match with a 25-19 win.
The win sent Coach Tracey Berry’s Raptors home for rest, while a frustrated and disappointed Barbara Campbell of Brentwood took her team to the corner for a frank discussion before facing a Siegel Stars squad in the loser’s bracket finals.
“I told them, ‘This is your last chance. You don’t play now, you don’t play tomorrow.’ It got them a little fired up.”
Fired up might have been an understatement.
The Bruins jumped on a Siegel team that was facing its third match of the day on its own home court early, taking a 25-10 victory in the first set then leaving the throttle wide open with 25-11 and 25-13 wins to end the Stars’ season in straight sets. The motivation for the domination was simple, according to senior Sarah Tuttle.
“Revenge,” she said, speaking apparently for the entire team. “I’ve wanted revenge since the last point hit the ground last year,” she said, referring the Raptors defeat of the Bruins in the state finals.
“We lost focus as a team,” she said of the early afternoon loss to Ravenwood. “We had them at the end and didn’t finish. Tomorrow we have to finish.”
Ravenwood, looking for a fourth consecutive title, will face Brentwood for the seventh time this year and the fifteenth time in two years. The series was even at 4-4 last year and sits at 4-2 in Ravenwood’s favor this season.
The depth of the rivalry between the two schools that sit barely seven miles apart can be found in their 2013 season records. Brentwood enters tonight’s title game at 58-4; all four losses at the hands of Ravenwood. The Raptors enter the game 47-4, with two losses to Brentwood and two to out-of-state national powers.
“Brentwood is so strong,” said Berry. “We look at them as being a great team. We’re so much alike when you watch us out there on the court.”
The title game is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Murphy Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University, a source of disappointed for both coaches. While the two schools are scheduled to meet for a title in volleyball at 6 p.m., their respective football teams are scheduled for a 7 p.m. kick-off in East Brentwood in a critical District 11-AAA football contest.
“The team really wants to go support the football team,” said Campbell, echoing comments from the Ravenwood staff, “and the football team wants to come support the volleyball team. But they can’t and everybody loses.”
The football teams will be able to see part of the match-up, as the volleyball championships will be streamed live by the TSSAA at www.nfhsnetwork.com/channels/tennessee
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Posted on: 10/24/2013