Summertown and Loretto are on a collision course, with a clash in the Class A state volleyball tournament looming after Tuesday’s quarterfinal action.
Summertown, the defending state titlist, opened play at Stewarts Creek High School in Murfreesboro with a straight-sets victory over Meigs County. The Lady Tigers prevailed 25-7, 25-9, 25-11 to move into a semifinal matchup Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. They’ll face Watertown, which defeated Union City 25-4, 25-11, 25-14 in the quarterfinals.
On the other side of the bracket, Loretto — the District 11-A and Region 6-A runner-up to Summertown — defeated South Greene 25-10, 25-12, 25-13. The Lady Mustangs will take on Sale Creek, a 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-16) winner over Halls, in a 12 noon semifinal.
With Wednesday wins, the Lawrence County rivals will meet — for the sixth time this season — at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
The championship game in the double-elimination tourney will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at Siegel High School.
Richland advances: Lexy Waldran scored twice and Grayson Bailey netted the gamewinner Tuesday night as Richland defeated visiting Harpeth 3-2 in the Region 3-A girls soccer tournament semifinals.
The Lady Raiders will host Valor Collegiate, a 3-1 semifinal winner over Hickman County, in Thursday’s 6 p.m. championship game. Both teams are assured berths in Saturday’s Class A sectional round, with the region titlist hosting and the runner-up traveling.
FRANKLIN – As long as Spring Hill was forced to play defense Tuesday night, veteran Lady Raiders coach Robert Walker knew it was just “a matter of time” before his unit cracked just enough under the pressure applied by District 11-AA regular-season titlist Page.
With about eight minutes remaining in the opening half of their tournament semifinal contest, that crack came – and the Lady Patriots slipped through, with Kate Nelson scoring the only goal the hosts would need in an eventual 3-0 victory.
The win pushes Page (11-2-3) into Thursday’s district tourney championship game against Murfreesboro Central, which defeated Nolensville 2-1 on penalty kicks in the other Tuesday semifinal.
“They were able to compress us,” Walker said after his team finished a 5-4 season. “They got on top of us and we were on our heels. (But) give them credit. They put us on our heels. We didn’t run back their voluntarily.”
In a season wracked by COVID issues and injuries, Spring Hill – which advanced to the tournament semifinals with a 4-0 victory Thursday over Giles County – was down five starters from its season opener.
The personnel struggles didn’t help against a potent Page squad.
“They’re a really good team,” Walker said. “They can make a good team look bad.
“Our girls played hard. We hit the crossbar twice. If one or two of those go in, it may be a different look.”
Page spent most of the first half deep in its offensive end of the field, getting off a couple of corner kicks that the Lady Raiders were able to fend off with a scrappy defense and the heady play of freshman goalkeeper Olivia Huffman.
“It’s stressful,” Huffman said. “You don’t want to make a wrong decision to hurt the team.
“It’s a learning experience. But you’ve got to keep going. You can’t drop your head.”
“She’s good,” Page coach Nate Clapp said regarding Huffman, who made a couple of key stops in the opening half and at least two more in the second 40 minutes. “She had some really good moments where if she didn’t hold onto the ball, we’d have had more. She definitely kept them in the game with a few plays.”
But four minutes after Nelson scored just inside the left post, Riley Kate Collins doubled the hosts’ lead with a score off the left side, and Page held a 2-0 advantage going into intermission.
“We were finding good space behind and between their defenders,” Clapp said. “We knew it was coming. We just needed a little quicker anticipation. As soon as we did that, we scored two.”
From there, Spring Hill struggled to create any offensive opportunities, and the Lady Patriots added an insurance goal with Kate Brzica converting off a missed shot 10 minutes into the second half.
With the three-goal cushion, Clapp was pleased at the way his team closed out the contest.
“They threw all their fast players up front, tried to push forward,” he said. “Our defense played well when they needed to. You can lose focus in situations like that. They didn’t.”
For Walker, meanwhile, an unprecedented campaign came to an end.
“It’s been a struggle,” he admitted. “We had no continuity – one step forward, two steps back. I’m a control freak; I like to ‘know’. But through it all, the girls have been resilient, and the parents, too. We had to go to Plan B on several occasions. The girls and parents have stepped up better probably than the coach.
“I’m anxious for next year to get started, maybe with some normalcy about it.”
Centennial at Franklin, 6 p.m. Ravenwood at Brentwood, 6 p.m.
Region 6-A volleyball at Liberty Tech, Jackson
Loretto vs. Madison Acad., 5 p.m. Summertown vs. Scotts Hill, 6 p.m. Championship, 7:30 p.m
Region 6-AAA volleyball at Brentwood
Hillsboro vs. Brentwood, 4:30 p.m. Summit vs. Dickson Co., 6 p.m. Championship, 7:30 p.m.
Cross country at Ring Farm
Boys 4:15 p.m.; Girls 4:45 p.m. Participating teams: Agathos Classical; Columbia Acad.; Columbia Central; Culleoka; Hampshire; Mt. Pleasant; Santa Fe; Spring Hill; Summertown; Zion Chr.; Brentwood Acad.; Cornersville; Donelson Chr.; Forrest; Hume-Fogg; Lawrence Co.; Lewis Co.; Lipscomb Acad.; Marshall Co.; St. Cecilia
District 6-A Tournament at Community: semifinal, Culleoka vs. Eagleville, 6 p.m. District 11-A Tournament at Collinwood: quarterfinals, Hampshire vs. Collinwood, 5 p.m.; Perry Co. vs. Loretto, 6 p.m.; Mt. Pleasant vs. Lewis Co., 7 p.m. District 9-AA Tournament at Nolensville: semifinals, Spring Hill vs. Nolensville, 4 p.m.; Lawrence Co. vs. Murfreesboro Central, 5:30 p.m.; championship, 7 p.m. District 12-AAA Tournament at Ravenwood: quarterfinal, Independence vs. Franklin, 7 p.m.
Summit girls at Large Class State Championships, 8 a.m. at WillowBrook GC, Manchester
District 5-A Tournament at Richland: semifinals, East Hickman vs. Richland, 5 p.m.; Culleoka vs. Hickman Co., 7 p.m. Shelbyville at Spring Hill, 7 p.m. Summit at Page, 7 p.m. Warren Co. at Independence, 7 p.m.
District 6-A Tournament at Community: championship, 6 p.m. District 11-A Tournament at Hickman Co.: semifinal, Santa Fe vs. TBA, 4 p.m.; championship, 7 p.m. District 11-A Tournament at Collinwood: semifinals, Hampshire/Collinwood winner vs. Perry Co./Loretto winner, 5 p.m.; Mt. Pleasant/Lewis Co. winner vs. Summertown, 6 p.m.; championship, 7 p.m. District 12-AAA Tournament at Ravenwood: semifinals, Independence/Franklin winner vs. Brentwood, 5 p.m.; Summit vs. Ravenwood/Centennial winner, 7 p.m.
Summit girls at Large Class State Championships, 8 a.m. at WillowBrook GC, Manchester
District 12-AAA Tournament at Ravenwood: championship, 5 p.m.
Thursday Girls soccer
Division II-A Middle Region Tournament: opening round, Columbia Acad. at TBA; Zion Chr. at TBA District 5-A Tournament at Richland: championship, 6 p.m. District 11-AA Tournament: quarterfinal, Giles Co. at Spring Hill, 6 p.m. District 8-AAA Tournament: play-in, Lincoln Co. at Columbia Central, 6 p.m.
District 8-AAA Tournament at Columbia Central: semifinals, Shelbyville/Franklin Co. winner vs. Coffee Co., 4 p.m.; Columbia Central vs. Lincoln Co., 5:30 p.m.; championship, 7 p.m.
SPRING HILL – It was Senior Night for the Spring Hill girls soccer team, but the Lady Raider underclassmen made sure of a successful outcome Tuesday against visiting Columbia Central.
Freshmen Addison Alexander and Emma Robinson combined for three goals, with juniors Isabella Phillips and Autumn Bopp adding one each in a 5-1 victory – raising the team’s record to 3-2 in a COVID-, weather-ravaged season.
“We didn’t play well,” Spring Hill coach Robert Walker said. “It’s Senior Night; everybody’s giddy, you tend to try to do too much. It showed. But they answered, and they won. That’s all we can ask.”
Alexander scored both her goals in the opening half, each giving her team leads – the second after senior Lakeisha Rosales found the net and tied the game for the Lady Lions.
“They’re better than us,” Columbia Central coach Greg Szydlowski said after his team fell to 1-10. “They have more talent in every area, looking at the big picture.
“We had opportunities. We just didn’t finish, and that’s been a problem. We probably should have had three goals.”
Indeed, after Phillips extended a 2-1 halftime cushion in the 47th minute, Rosales banged a shot off the crossbar that would have put the visitors back within one, and after Bopp’s goal with 17 minutes remaining, sophomore Yeydi Carroscoza scored a goal that was wiped off when a Central player was judged to have knocked the ball out of Spring Hill goalkeeper Olivia Huffman’s grasp.
Two minutes later, Robinson tallied to give the hosts the final four-goal margin.
“We’re building,” Szydlowski said. “I love coaching these kids. They love to be coached, even when we’re down. Lakeisha’s going to play college soccer. Yeydi had a great night. (Sophomore) Destini Martinez is playing well, after a concussion and an ankle injury.”
For Spring Hill – which has had five games rained out and five games canceled or rescheduled because of a two-week quarantine – the outing was the first of three in three days. The Lady Raiders travel Wednesday to Tullahoma and Thursday to Marshall County for a pair of District 11-AA contests that will help determine seeding for the postseason tournament beginning Oct. 8.
“It was a big night for our five seniors,” Walker said, referring to Alison Chapple, Carey Cromer, Ashtin Dené, Lisa Mormile – who suffered a first-half injury to her right knee – and Angel Williams. “I hope Lisa’s injury wasn’t big.”
Central will hold its senior night festivities Thursday against visiting Shelbyville.
Southern Middle Tennessee Sports
Subscribe FREE today and have every story in your inbox!