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Living on the edge, FHS No. 2 in region, 4-AAA champ
VolleyDogs survive versus Heritage in district before dramatic title match loss to Farragut

Farragut's otherwise solid volleyball season was just three points from ending against a No. 4 seed.

Maryville had Susan Davidson's No. 1-seed Lady Admirals on the ropes in the District 4-AAA Tournament semifinals in FHS's Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium, stunning the host by winning the first two games of the best-three-of-five.

Farragut’s slow start to game three turned quickly for the Lady Ads, and the district league champs rallied to win in a five-set thriller, 16-25, 18-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-8.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Allen's Bearden VolleyDogs survived a tight four-set semifinal against No. 2 Heritage, winning 25-21, 18-25, 25-21, 25-23 and setting up a rivalry title bout that lived up to billing Wednesday evening, Oct. 13.

Farragut won the tourney title in a dramatic five-set slugfest, edging Bearden 15-11 in the decisive fifth game despite trailing two games to one — and seeing the VolleyDogs rally from 24-19 in game three to shock FHS 26-24.

Paige West's kill sealed the crown for FHS in game five (14-25, 25-12, 24-26, 25-19, 15-11).

“Paige West has had two matches this year where she's put in the exclamation point,” said coach Davidson, whose team improved to 32-13 after the tourney. Farragut improved to 15-1 overall in 4-AAA matches.

Lady Ads junior setter Kayla Hartman, Tournament Most Valuable Player, said about the rally versus Bearden, “It just felt really good to come back. We knew we lost and we had to get back up. We just fought back and came back together as a team.”

Kassie Detchemendy, Farra-gut’s lone senior and All-tournament outside hitter, said game three’s loss to BHS “just took every ounce of energy that we had. ... That game, I have no idea what happened. We just worked really hard and came back.”

Against Bearden, Davidson said her team “lost a little focus” after blowing the game three lead, but was fuel by “senior leadership from Kassie Detchemendy. She pulled them together and said, ‘We can do this, this is our house. We need to work hard,’ and they took care of business.

“Kendall Knisley had 12 blocks, which is a season high for us in one match,” Davidson added. “Julia Alves, she had nine blocks; that's a high for her.”

Alves and fellow junior Shannon Bohnenberger also earned All-Tournament honors.

Tara Robertson, BHS senior middle hitter named 4-AAA Most Valuable Player plus an All-Tournament selection along with teammate Brittany Sliger, said the loss to Farragut was “a disappointment because we were so close.

“It would have been really nice to win, but we're proud of ourselves for beating Heritage and moving on to region.”

Coach Allen said she had “mixed feelings” about the night. “I thought they left it out there, but I felt like at the end we were just a little bit tired. Seemed like we ran out of steam a little bit.

“Just needed one or two more breaks, but it just seemed like we didn't get them when we needed them,” she added.

Bearden entered Region 2-AAA Tourney play at FHS with a 36-8 overall record (see related story starting on page 4).

Detchemendy said Farragut’s 2-0 deficit versus Maryville “was a lot of stress on all of us. I think we all wanted it so bad ... the energy that we got when we were losing was what helped us win.”

Davidson said, “The Maryville [match] we started off very sluggish. But these girls knew what the business was to take care of. The sluggishness, we came out of it in the third game.

“They dug deep, they realized the season was on the line and they said, 'together we've got to do it,' and they did it,” Davidson added. “We defended the net, and we started having some key blocks.”


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