In what is considered to be one of the most intense rivalries in Williamson County, the Brentwood Lady Bruins volleyball team (14-5, 1-1) won in straight sets 25-22, 25-16, 25-23 over the Ravenwood Lady Raptors (7-3, 1-1) on the road Thursday night.
“I told them after Tuesday (Nolensville loss) that they can feel sorry for themselves or do better tonight,” said Brentwood head coach Cathy Cram. “I am really proud of each one of them.”
“We have such great chemistry,” said Brentwood senior Dylan Sulcer. “We just focused on what we could control. It is an important match because there’s lots of history between Brentwood and Ravenwood. We played together and played hard.”
“I think we just learn from it and get back in the gym,” said Ravenwood senior Bella LePore. “We just need to focus on the things that will make us better as a team. We are fighting for the real 'Wood.' We are both really competitive.”
In the first set, Brentwood came out strong, establishing their rhythm early in the contest. The trio of senior Ashley Miller, freshman Eliza McKnight, and junior Cece Meyer found their groove all executing kills in the frame.
Ravenwood battled, getting timely kills from senior Reghan Larkin and senior Abby Chadwick. They also tallied aces from senior Mackenzie Bidwell and LePore. The Lady Bruins kept the edge however, winning the set 25-22.
It was vintage Lady Bruins in the second set with blocks, kills, and aces by Miller, sophomore Anniston Siefert, freshman Daisy Oatsvall, Sulcer, Mcknight, and sophomore Callie Cummins. Brentwood controlled the set with a 25-16 win.
Ravenwood fought hard in the third set, taking a 20-18 lead with kills from their attack, aces, and some well-placed blocks by Larkin, sophomore Julia Hynes, senior Katie Powell, junior Christina Chen, and sophomore Sienna Rustic.
“We need to pinpoint the things we did right,” said LePore. “We need to expose weaknesses of our opponent like we did in the third set and keep all of our momentum on the floor.”
Brentwood powered through for the win, collecting kills from Miller, McKnight, and sophomore Easton Fowler to capture the final set 25-23. The Lady Bruins completed the sweep of Ravenwood in their first regular season matchup.
“We were doing better with our services and connecting with our setters, “said Cram. “We were more consistent with what we were doing tonight.”
Ashley Miller and Eliza McKnight led Brentwood in kills. Miller had 17 and McKnight had eight.
“Ashley is one of our top hitters and is a leader on the court,” said Sulcer. “She really took control tonight and went after it. I am so proud of Eliza’s confidence as a freshman.”
“I am really impressed with Eliza, because we were missing one of our attackers tonight,” said Cram. “I am so proud of our team.”
Ravenwood’s kill leaders were Reghan Larkin with 15 and Christina Chen with five.
Ravenwood will travel to Nolensville next Wednesday in a rematch of the AAA 2021 state championship.
“We need to focus on defense and servicing,” said LePore. “They (Nolensville) are big hitters and have really strong players. We just have to have a positive mindset, even through the tough battles.”
Brentwood will travel to a tournament in Alabama over the weekend, playing elite teams from Tennessee and Alabama.
“We will see Nolensville there and other top teams in and out of the state,” said Cram. “It will be fun and good competition for us.”
“There will be lots of good competition this weekend,” said Sulcer. “We are going to focus on getting better one match at a time.”