Tag Archives: high school volleyball

Summertown trio signs college scholarships

SM-Tn Sports

Three Summertown athletes signed national letters of intent Wednesday as the NCAA fall recruiting period officially opened.

Claire Woods, a three-sport athlete for the Lady Eagles, inked a softball scholarship with Middle Tennessee State, while multi-sport classmates Hailey Jones and Kaley Campbell signed with North Alabama and Austin Peay, respectively — Jones for softball, Campbell for golf.

Summertown’s Claire Woods signed a softball scholarship Wednesday with Middle Tennessee State. (Courtesy photo)

Woods, a pitcher/third baseman, joins the Lady Raiders as the top-ranked signee in their fall recruiting class, listed at No. 117 overall in the Extra Inning Softball top 200. She is listed as the 64th-best pitcher in the country in the Extra Elite Player Rankings, making her No. 6 among Conference USA signees and second in Tennessee.

At the time of her verbal commitment, Scout Softball had Woods ranked as the third-best uncommitted pitcher in the nation.

Through three seasons at Summertown High School, Woods has a 1.10 ERA with 307 strikeouts in 255 innings pitched. In addition to her work in the circle, Woods boasts a .459 batting average with 14 homers. She was named All-District Pitcher of the Year as a freshman and District MVP as a sophomore. Woods qualified for the Small Class State Championships in cross country and also lettered in basketball for two years.

“We think she may be the best pitcher we’ve recruited here,” MTSU coach Jeff Breeden said in announcing his recruiting class, which also includes Siegel infielder Claire Czajkowski, Macon County utility player Abby Shoulders and Anyce Harvey, an outfielder from Hewitt-Trussville (Ala.).

“She throws in the mid-60s, and she’s thought in the travel ball circles to be in the top five percent of pitchers in America. We’ll give her an opportunity, and we’ll see how far she can take us.”

Summertown’s Hailey Jones signed a softball scholarship Wednesday with North Alabama. (Courtesy photo)

Jones started as a freshman on Summertown’s 2018 Class A state title team and was a starter on the 2019 team that finished as state runner-up. She’s also been a key performer on the Lady Eagles’ consecutive Class A state championship volleyball teams, and plays basketball as well.

Campbell earned four straight individual and team region golf titles, with Summertown taking home three Small Class state titles during her tenure. She claimed the 2018 Small Class individual title, shooting a two-day 148 to win by six strokes.

Summertown’s Kaley Campbell signed a golf scholarship Wednesday with Austin Peay State University. (Courtesy photo)

On the junior golf circuit, she was the 2019 SNEDS Junior Golf Tour Player of the Year in the Girls age 16-18 category, winning five of seven tour events in which she participated that summer. 

“Kaley is a consistent player that brings a calming presence to those around her,” APSU coach Jessica Combs said. “She never stops grinding on or off the golf course, whether it’s battling an injury or needing to birdie the last hole to win. We are so excited to have her on the team, and I’m looking forward to watching her improve during her time in Clarksville.”

In addition to being a four-time All-State performer on the course, she also helped lead the Lady Eagles to the 2018 Class A softball state title and a runner-up finish in 2019. She was selected as the 2018 Middle Tennessee Class A/Division II Miss Softball by the Tennessee Softball Coaches Association, and was a member of the 2018 Class A basketball state runner-up squad. Following a knee injury that cut her junior season short, she is expected to return to the court this season.

‘It’s gotta be the shoes!’ Class A MVP brings the heat with hits, style

By Chris Yow

MURFREESBORO — While the video game ‘NBA Jam’ preceded Miya Cole Brown’s birth by a decade or more, the iconic colored shoes of a player who scored three baskets in a row and was deemed ‘on fire’ still resonates through pop culture.

On Friday, the Summertown senior outside hitter was most certainly ‘on fire’ as she led her team to a second straight state volleyball championship, whilst being named the game’s Most Valuable Player. 

Her secret to success? It’s gotta be the shoes. Nike shoes mimic the pineapple house where Spongebob Squarepants lived in Bikini Bottom.

OK, maybe it’s not all the shoes, but they definitely set her apart, and, well — that’s the point. Why does she don the unique style on the court?

“Did you notice them? That’s the point,” she said. “I want people to notice me coming on the court and then see me hit.”

Summertown’s Miya Cole Brown (18) celebrates a point with her team on Friday during the Eagles state championship match. (Photo by Chris Yow / SM-Tn Sports)

Her teammates and coach don’t mind the unique sneakers, and that’s probably because Brown backs up her style with her play.

“I love her shoes, they’re cute and fun,” 2019 state championship MVP Katie Burdette said. “Her energy keeps us pumped, and she stepped up to lead.”

Summertown coach Andrea Kelly praised her leadership and effort as well.

“Miya Cole is not only a great player; she has the killer drive attitude,” she said. “I knew when they stepped on the court today, she and the other seniors were going to lead us to victory.”

All business on the court, but bringing a little fun and — sometimes — a few hard high-fives.

“Her high fives are hard,” Burdette said. “Your hands get a little sore, some welts even.”

Brown added, “They say my high-fives hurt worse than getting something smashed on their hand. Sometimes they get a little scared.”

The high-fives are as hard-hitting as her kills on the floor. When she gets a chance, she’s going to put the ball on the ground a lot. In the championship match, she had 12 kills and a 39% kill percentage. 

Do Spongebob shoes make her better? Probably not, but there’s no doubt they will help her leave her legacy on top of Class A volleyball and in a pineapple under the sea.

Summertown nets second straight state volleyball title

By Maurice Patton

MURFREESBORO – Before walking the walk, Miya Cole Brown talked the talk.

“She walked in the (huddle) and said, ‘we’re not going to lose to this team today’,” Summertown coach Andrea Kelly said of her senior outside hitter, who made sure that was not the case Friday as the Lady Eagles successfully defended their 2019 Class A volleyball state championship with a straight-sets victory over Lawrence County rival Loretto.

The win (25-9, 25-13, 25-12) was the seventh in as many meetings for Summertown against Loretto, which won the 2018 state title.

And just as Brown was pivotal in the Lady Eagles’ winners bracket final victory on Thursday against the Lady Mustangs, her intensity and her performance were both crucial in Friday’s outcome.

“I knew for our team to compete and win, it was my job to keep us excited,” said Brown, who was named Most Valuable Player of the state tournament as her team completed a 35-4 season. “Volleyball is a momentum sport. I’m very loud. That’s my job – to stay loud, stay excited.”

Members of the Summertown volleyball team pose with their 2020 Class A state championship trophy, the second in as many seasons for the program. (Photo by Chris Yow / SM-Tn Sports)

It wasn’t just a rah-rah effort for Brown, though. She and junior middle hitter Katie Burdette, the 2019 tourney MVP, were a 1-2 punch at the net that overcame Loretto after the Lady Mustangs (29-12) extended Thursday’s contest to five games.

“They were definitely trying to defend Katie,” Brown said. “But they knew I played well against them. (Friday) they dug a lot of balls, blocked me a few times.”

Loretto’s defense wasn’t quite as sharp Friday as it was Thursday, though – in part because after playing five games against Summertown, the Lady Mustangs went five in the losers bracket finals later that night against Sale Creek.

“You could tell the fatigue was there,” fourth-year Loretto coach Nick Quillen said. “When you play two five-set matches (that were) as intense as we played, you expect that. We were banking on digging deep to overcome it.

“Earlier in the season, with zero seniors, we knew that our young age was going to take hold. It reared its ugly head (Friday). We just weren’t mentally there.”

Brown scored a series of service points early in the initial game en route to the victory, quickly backing up her comments to her teammates.

“We knew every point we had to play like it was our last, and we did that,” Kelly said. “I’m so proud of the girls.”

The MVP and the coach agreed that the second state title has a different feel than the first – though possibly for different reasons.

“Last year was the first time, but (this year) we had a target on our back. To prove ‘them’ wrong is awesome,” Brown said.

“I’ve always said, every sport we play (Loretto), it’s important that we win,” Kelly said. “Nick’s a great coach; we’re friends. But in that moment, that’s all that matters.

“It’s do or die when we play Loretto.”

Summertown survives five-set scare, advances to state finals

By Maurice Patton

MURFREESBORO — Summertown adjusted to Loretto’s adjustments and returned to the Class A volleyball state tournament championship game with a five-set victory in Thursday’s winners bracket final at Stewarts Creek High School.

The Lady Eagles (34-4) will play for their second consecutive title at 10 a.m. Friday morning at Siegel High School, as they will face Loretto yet again

“Loretto played amazing,” Summertown coach Andrea Kelly said. “This was the sixth time we’ve played, and they’ve gotten better and better every time we’ve played. They wanted it more than we did in (Games 3 and 4).

“We squeezed that one out.”

With five previous wins in as many meetings thus far this season, Summertown got off to another strong start Thursday against its Lawrence County and District 11-A rival, as Miya Cole Brown recorded eight straight service points to overcome an early deficit en route to a 25-11 victory in the opening set.

Loretto (28-11) narrowed the margin in the second set, leading 9-6 early before falling 25-20.

The Lady Mustangs found some momentum, though, controlling the action in an eventual 26-24 third set.

“We had to adjust on a couple of thier bigger hitters,” Loretto coach Nick Quillen said, referring to Katie Burdette in the middle and Brown on the outside. “After that, it’s about who can hustle more, who can scrap more and make the fewer errors.”

The defensive tweaks helped Loretto to a 25-17 win to force the decisive fifth set.

And as Brown helped spark things early, she did so again late.

Summertown‘s 15-9 win in the fifth set against Loretto sealed a berth in Friday’s Class A state championship game. (Video by Maurice Patton)

“They were ‘single-blocking’ on us,” Kelly said. “Miya Cole happens to be the one out there. She’s been playing amazing the last two weeks. We told our setter, feed her until they put another blocker up there.

“Katie, what she gave us most was her blocking. They were blocking her on offense; she had to adjust her hits.”

Brown finished with a team-high 23 kills, with Burdette — last year’s tournament MVP — adding 21.

“At the region tournament, they changed their game plan and adjusted to the middle, with Katie in there,” Brown said. “I knew I had to pull through. As a senior, as team captain, I felt that was my role.”

Sale Creek defeated Watertown in five games to advance to Thursday’s losers bracket final Loretto. The Lady Mustangs went five games for the second time before claiming their title game berth.

“Every time we’ve played them, we’ve pushed them a little more,” Quillen said of Summertown. “We just couldn’t finish at the end. We’ve got to jump on them a little quicker and finish strong at the end.”

County rivals set to meet at the net for 6th time this fall

SM-Tn Sports

With Class A state volleyball tournament semifinal victories Wednesday, Summertown and Loretto set up their most important meeting of the year.

The defending state champion Lady Eagles will take on the District 11-A and Region 6-A runner-up Lady Mustangs at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the winners bracket final at Stewarts Creek High School in Murfreesboro. The winner of the matchup will advance to Friday’s 10 a.m. championship game at Siegel High School, with the loser forced to play a 7:30 p.m. elimination game Thursday.

Summertown (33-4) has defeated Loretto (28-10) in each of their five previous meetings this season — including regular-season home-and-home contests and a clash in the semifinals of the Lawrence County Border Battle tournament prior to the district and region tourney finals.

That familiarity concerns veteran coach Andrea Kelly.

“I won’t lie and say it doesn’t,” she said. “It does definitely. We know what we’re getting. They’re a county rival, a district rival, 30 minutes away. We know them, they know us. It’s always a battle.”

After opening the tournament with a straight-sets win over Meigs County, Summertown defeated Watertown — the 2019 state runner-up — in similar fashion Wednesday, winning 25-18, 25-20, 25-18.

“We knew (Wednesday’s) match was going to be our challenge,” Kelly said. “We played Watertown twice last year. We won in three, but on the floor, it feels a lot closer. The scores don’t always show the competitiveness of the game.”

Loretto defeated South Greene in straight sets Tuesday, before advancing to the winners bracket finals with a 3-1 (16-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-14) win over Sale Creek.

“It’ll be a challenge; it always is,” Kelly said of the looming matchup. “We’ve been able to hold them off all five times, but we struggled with them (in the region championship). We beat them in three, but it wasn’t an easy three. We expect them to give us everything they’ve got.”

Meigs County and South Greene each survived elimination contests Wednesday against Union City and Halls, respectively. Meigs County will take on Sale Creek in Thursday’s 9:30 a.m. game at Stewarts Creek, with South Greene to face Watertown at 12 noon.

The Thursday morning winners will play at 5 p.m. Thursday, with the losers bracket final set for 7:30 p.m.

Entering the third day of the tournament, Kelly is pleased with her team’s performance thus far.

“My kids so far have shown up every game and have that drive to win,” she said. “We’re hitting well, serving well, passing well — doing the things we need to do. Sometimes we lost focus, but we were able to rebound.

“We’re ready to go, as ready as we’ll ever be.”

Volleyball, girls soccer postseason play heats up

SM-Tn Sports

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.