Lady ‘Toppers digs third straight District 1-AAA title

by STEVE WILMOTH

TriCitiesSports.com

October 6, 2022

GRAY, Tenn. — Science Hill’s offense sold out a lot of tickets at Bobby Snyder Gymnasium on Thursday night, but it was Lady ‘Topper’s defense that won a third straight District 1-AAA tournament championship.

With the Science Hill frontline of Chelsea Blaine, Claire Hunter, Addi Stables and Autumn Holmes building an impenetrable fortress at net and libero Molly Williams and defensive specialist Marin Ross with Ella Neal, Kanady and Holmes masking every inch of the floor , the Lady’ toppers swept West Ridge 26-24, 25-21, 25-21.

This is the third straight District Tournament title for Science Hill (32-8) and the second straight year the Lady ‘Toppers have beaten the Lady Wolves (22-10) in the Championship Round.

It is also the third win in four best-of-five matches against West Ridge this season and comes just two weeks after Lady Wolves swept the Lady’ Toppers at home.

“Tonight was a great team win, I’m really proud of them,” said Science Hill coach Laura Cook. “The defense was exceptional. They just decided to come here and play together and play every point and let the mistakes go and keep going.

Neither team produced more than a three-point lead in the opening set. Science Hill led 22-19 late to see West Ridge battle for a 24-24 tie.

But a pair of defensive scrambles led by Williams’ relentless, inspirational and scrappy play eased the Lady’ Toppers to a two-point victory.

Science Hill controlled the second frame and led up to seven at two points before securing for the win on four points and a cushion in straight sets.

It was Lady Wolves who held a late advantage in the third and looked certain to force a fourth set until Lady ‘Topper’s defense simply took over.

What offense was able to pierce Science Hill Garrison at net, the back line simply refused to let touch as the Lady’ Toppers closed on a 10-1 surge and ended the game on Holmes’ 23rd kill from the night.

“It was awesome,” Cook said. “West Ridge has guns. It was great to see as we really worked hard to improve our bouldering. Our block was great tonight.

Holmes was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“Most people didn’t think we’d be as good as last year, but I think we went out and proved a lot of people wrong, which feels really good,” Holmes said.

Williams came in with 23 digs, Kanady added 16, Kanady 13 and Ross finished with ten. Williams, Kanady and Stables joined Holmes on the all-tournament team.

“It’s the best we’ve done defensively this season,” Holmes continued. “We focused on that a lot in training and we watch a movie after school and some girls stayed with me and we all worked on it together. The little things all came together tonight.

Kanady also contributed six kills and dished out 13 assists while Neal dished out 19 assists. Claire Hunter contributed with four wins

“Science Hill played a really good defense and they did a really good job of going out there and defending when we had that little lead,” West Ridge coach Logan Kemp said. “No matter where the ball went there were a lot of big hustle plays and every time you get those big hustle plays everything seems to be on their side and nothing seems to fall for us. It really energized their team.

Lady ‘Topper’s defense certainly played a part in Lady Wolves’ .096 hit percentage on the night. A whopping 23 attack errors certainly didn’t help either, nor did nine service errors.

“They’re a good team and good teams make you make mistakes,” added Kemp. We haven’t done a very good job of limiting our mistakes. We still found a way to keep it close and hold ourselves there and give ourselves opportunities. So it’s positive. »

Rylee Haynie, named Big 5 Conference Player of the Year, led West Ridge with ten kills, MeKensi Smith adding eight, Allie Rilley six, Madison Haynie five and Parker Fischer three.

Faith Wilson dished out 30 assists and Mollie Cutshall served two aces and had five digs /

Kari Wilson found 14 recoveries while Laynie Jordan brought in eight and Maggie Niebruegge seven. Kari Wilson, Rylee Haynie and Fischer were all selected to the All-Tournament Team.

West Ridge also went the second straight night without going on the outside of slugger Casey Wampler, who remains out six. Fischer suffered a heavy fall and also missed the final segment of the match.

“We’re playing against the best team in the conference and one of the best teams in the state and we’re not 100 percent and we’re still holding it there,” Kemp noted. “I’m proud of our girls for that.”

Both teams will qualify for next week’s Region 1-AAA tournament in Morristown East. Science Hill will face Morristown West in one semifinal and West Ridge will face the Lady Hurricanes in the other. The date and program of the tournament have not yet been confirmed.

2022 District 1-AAA All-Tournament Team

MVP – Autumn Holmes, Science Hill

Molly Williams, Science Hill

Addi Stables, Science Hill

Meghan Kanady, Science Hill

Rylee Haney, West Ridge

Parker Fischer, West Ridge

Kari Wilson, West Ridge

Katie Onks, David Crockett

Brylee Tullock, David Crockett

Riley Brandon, Dobyns-Bennett

District 1-AAA Volleyball Tournament

Daniel Boone High School

monday 3 october

Game 1 – No. 5 David Crockett def. #4 Daniel Boone 25-17, 18-25, 25-16, 25-22

Game 2 – No. 3 West Ridge beats. No. 2 Dobyns-Bennett 25-22, 20-25, 30-28, 25-7

Game 3 – No. 1 Science Hill beats. No. 5 David Crockett 25-16, 23-25, 25-7, 25-17

tuesday october 4

Game 4 – No. 5 David Crockett def. No. 2 Dobyns-Bennett 17-25, 25-19, 32-30, 19-25, 15-13

Game 5 – No. 1 Science Hill beats. No. 3 West Ridge 19-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 15-13

Wednesday, October 5

Game 6 – No. 3 West Ridge def. No. 5 David Crockett 25-14, 25-18, 25-6

Thursday, October 6

Game 7 – No. 1 Science Hill beats. No. 3 West Ridge 26-24, 25-21, 25-21

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