Siegel's volleyball team will make another TSSAA’s state tournament appearance following a 3-1 (25-23, 25-19, 18-25, 25-19) defeat of the Cleveland Blue Raiders on Thursday.
“It was a battle between two really well-coached teams and finishing on top just adds to what a special night it was,” Siegel coach Patricia Flowers said.
Siegel will play Maryville at home Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the first round of the state tournament.
Central Magnet also punched its ticket to the Class AA state tournament with a 26-28, 25-14, 10-25, 25-12, 15-11 over Macon County. The Tigers will face Covington on Tuesday at noon in the first round of the state tournment at Blackman.
Flowers spent 16 seasons on the Cleveland bench while making a trip to the state tournament as recent as 2017. However, she will be sporting a new logo for her next trip to the state tournament.
“I coached a lot of (Cleveland’s players) since they were 12-years old," Flowers said. "Their head coach (Amy McGowan) is my best friend and Cleveland certainly has amazing people in their community that mean a lot to me."
Siegel exploited Cleveland’s soft spots early, jumping out to big leads in the first two sets before the Blue Raiders brought things down to the wire. The fast starts made the difference as the Stars won the first two sets 25-23, 25-19.
“We lacked a little late in those sets with our communication but we came together and played as team to finish them off,” senior hitter Jaida Clark said. “They got their fast start in the third but we bounced back and took care of business.”
Clark contributed 24 kills on the night in her final game on Siegel’s home court.
“We play every game like it could be our last," Clark said. "As we move to state we will play some really good teams and making sure we play together and communicate is what it will take to keep moving on.”
Cleveland answered in the third set with a 25-18 win to cut the Siegel deficit to one. Nonetheless, Clark and fellow senior setter Laura Howell rallied in a close fourth frame to advance to next week’s state tournament.
“(Howell) played so well tonight and sometimes setters do not get enough credit for how tough their job is,” Flowers says. “She is a great leader for our team. I was not shocked with how well Cleveland played because I know how good they are, but our girls stuck to the game plan and executed when we needed to.”
Class AAA VOLLEYBALL REGION TOURNAMENT
Siegel 3, Lincoln Co. 0
Coffee Co. 3, Rockvale 1
Siegel 3, Coffee Co. 0 (championship)
Siegel 3, Cleveland 1 (sectional)
Central Magnet 3, Macon Co. 2 (sectional)
DIVISION II-A STATE TOURNAMENT
Notre Dame 3, MTCS 1
MTCS (31-8) went down swinging in its final match of the season, falling 3-1 to Notre Dame in the first round of the state tournament.
The 31 wins marks the second most in school history for wins in a season, and the Cougar senior class closed out its career with a school-record 114 wins.
Maddi Boyd led the way for the Cougars with 17 kills, 23 digs and block, Macy Smith had 15 digs and an assist, Ellie Shirley had 21 assists and five digs, Haley Hudson had 19 assists, 10 digs and a kill and Sloane Cantrell had 20 digs, one ace and an assister.
Bell Spry contributed a career-high nine kills and two digs, Reagan Atkinson had eight kills, five digs and a block, Lily Watson had eight kills and a dig, Sarah Wisniowski had two kills and two blocks, Reagan Parker had eight digs and Anna Claire Stephen had an ace.