The Battle Ground Academy Wildcats have been on a season-long mission to repeat as state champions. On Thursday morning, they achieved their goal with a 3-0 sweep of Goodpasture in the 2022 TSSAA Division II-A state championship game. 

"It feels amazing," BGA head coach Tatiana Alvarez said. "It feels relieving. I feel so much joy and happiness that these kids got to earn another title because that is absolutely what they deserve undeniably. I'm just so proud of them." 

The Wildcats (37-4) and the Cougars (34-6) have battled in the postseason three times in the last two weeks, including in the Middle Region championship and in the state semifinals on Wednesday. All three games have been BGA wins.

Set one was back and forth in front of a raucous crowd at Middle Tennessee Christian in Murfreesboro until the Wildcats rode an 8-3 run, including three consecutive points at the end, to a 25-19 win.

BGA jumped out to a 6-2 lead in set two, building their lead further when a reversal of call from the line judge pushed the Wildcats to a 17-12 lead.

Goodpasture, the 2020 state champions in Division II-A, responded with a 6-1 run of their own to cut it to 23-19. BGA would close out for a 25-19 set two victory.

They're such a great team," Alvarez said of BGA. "Goodpasture is a very winning program with depth and expectations. They will come out and fight and make you work for it, and they absolutely did." 

In set three, BGA and Goodpasture were tied at 7-7 before BGA ultimately took control of the game, finishing out with another 25-19 win to complete the sweep. 

"It's special for the program for our community and for representation as a whole," Alvarez said. "We've been working towards this from day one, just as if it was something we've never achieved before. I think that's what it had to be in order to get here." 

Seniors Addison Atkins and Gillian Baisden led the team with 11 kills each. Baisden had a monster second set where she notched eight of her 11 kills. Senior Mackenzie Huntington added seven kills. 

Senior Kyra Hampton was the table setter as usual, dishing out a team-high 31 assists and notching 13 digs. 

But it was Isabelle Northam, in the often unsung libero role, who was named MVP. The senior and co-captain alongside Atkins compiled a team-best 29 digs and four assists. 

"Izzy has deserved that award in so many ways," Alvarez said. "She is one of the hardest workers on this team. Although at times she's probably a little bit working in the shadows as a libero because liberos are only noticed when they're not doing great and, it's very rare that Isabelle does not do great.

"I am just so proud that she could receive that award today. She's so respected by her peers, her community, and her volleyball family, so she absolutely deserved it." 

In other area updates from the volleyball state tournament, Eagleville (31-13) was eliminated in a sweep by Sale Creek in Class A.

In Class AAA, Brentwood (35-11) and Hillsboro (25-8) both survived elimination games. The Bruins swept Houston 25-21, 25-18, 25-21. The Burros took down Maryville in five sets 15-25, 8-25, 26-24, 25-23, 15-10.

The two teams are set to face off at 5 p.m. The winner will then play in one more outing, and if they win that game, they will then advance to Friday's championship game.