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STORY BY MITCHELL STEPHENSON | PHOTOS BY CARL EDMONDSON, JR.

The Brentwood High School gym was electrified for the highly-anticipated volleyball season opener between the host Lady Bruins and Father Ryan Lady Irish.

Brentwood returns as the six-time defending Class AAA state volleyball champions. And they looked to open strong to star the 2019 season. The Lady Bruins won three-straight matches 3-0 to win the contest. However, all three games were extremely intense, with Father Ryan showing why they’re a perennial state contender in D-II.

“It was a tough game to have an opener with,” Brentwood head coach Barbara Campbell said. “Father Ryan is a great team, And we needed a strong team to play against. And they certainly provided that and more.”

In the first set Brentwood won 25-20. It was an explosive display of defense and firepower by both teams.

The second set started with Father Ryan coming out with a 6-2 lead. The Lady Irish looked to control the game, but the Lady Bruins stormed back. With great teamwork and ball control they took a 15-11 lead. Up 21-18, Brentwood won another rally for points to score and put the game closer to being over 22-18.

Later in the set with Brentwood up 24-19, Father Ryan refused to go away. They scored the next four points to make it 24-23. Though, Brentwood was able to hold on to close out the second game 25-23.

For the third set, Father Ryan came out to a 4-3 lead with intense play. But the Lady Bruins responded accordingly.

Every time the Lady Irish tried to keep the momentum flowing their way, the Bruins upped their intensity and kept fighting back to tie the score. Midway through the set Brentwood went up 11-9. Brentwood seized control later in the game with a 17-13 lead. The Lady Bruins finished off the contest 25-19.

“I felt like we had the first match jitters a little bit, even though we’re at home,” Campbell said of her Lady Bruins. “But we settled down, and did some good things. Especially with coming from behind, and not getting rattled. I’m pleased.”

Brentwood travels to play Siegel Wednesday, while Father Ryan hosts Page.

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