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State volleyball championship trophy moves to other side of Brentwood

There were so many motivators when Ravenwood met Brentwood last night for the state Class AAA volleyball championship.  Would the Bruins get their ninth title?  Would the Raptors join Brentwood and Page with four-peats?  Would this tournament turn out like last year’s, with Ravenwood staging a comeback to deny Brentwood one more time?
In the end, the motivation was more basic-revenge.
“We wanted it more than anything else,” said tournament MVP Sarah Tuttle of Brentwood after the Bruins topped Ravenwood 25-22, 18-25, 27-25, 25-17.  “Especially after losing to them yesterday; we’ve wanted this since the last point last year.”
Both teams rolled through district, region, sub-state and state competition, stumbling only when they faced each other.  In seven meetings the Raptors won four times, but the third Brentwood win moved the trophy seven miles west.
Brentwood opened with a 2-0 lead in the first set that see-sawed like the deck of a ship in an angry ocean.  Jenny Roy squelched a Raptor come-back with a pair of kills to give the Bruins the set 25-22 and a 1-0 match lead.
The second set was equally even, with nine ties when the score stood 12-12.  That’s when Alabama recruit Kat Hutson stepped to the front of the net, leading her Raptors on a 13-6 run to even the match at 1-1.
The third set was a heated, nearly personal battle between Brentwood’s Samantha Cotton and Ravenwood’s Payton Logan.  Cotton scored eight of the Bruins’ first 20 points while Logan was everywhere, accounting nearly as many of the Raptors’ points through blocks and kills.  Logan’s final kill in the game tied it at 23.
Tuttle and Hutson battled the last six points, but Hutson was wide on a spike to give Brentwood a 26-25 lead before Tuttle dropped an ace on the serve for the two point margin.
That victory was key to the final set, said Brentwood coach Barbara Campbell.
“That really gave us momentum and it gave us strength,” she said.  “The girls knew they were empowered and they were not going to give in to fear.
“We played them eight times last year, seven times this year.  I told the kids, Ravenwood is a great team.   To keep playing them takes courage, it takes guts.  I’m afraid if I were in the same situation I might quit.”
Her charges did not quit, turning a 4-0 lead in the fourth set into a 19-6 advantage before Hutson scored 8 straight points, closing the gap to 23-17.  Tuttle added a kill and then her second ace of the competition to seal the win 25-17 for the set and 3-1 for the match.
Shocked when she was named tournament MVP, Tuttle was more taken with the team trophy.
“I’m much more proud of the state trophy,” she said, “because this is a team.  I couldn’t have won by myself, it took everyone.”
Tuttle ended the match with 14 kills, six aces and 16 digs.  Cotton had 16 kills and 12 digs and Hunter Thompson was credited with 42 assists and 7 digs.
Besides Tuttle and Hutson, seven other seniors ended their high school careers in the state finals including Brentwood’s Thompson, Kelly Severino, and Piper Cleveland and Ravenwood’s Lauren DuPont, Santanna Patterson, Taylor Briggs and Payton Logan.

Posted on: 10/26/2013


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