FARRAGUT—Oak Ridge kept it close through three sets during a Region 2-AAA tournament semifinal at Farragut High School on Tuesday, but their effort wasn’t enough to hold back Hardin Valley, which eliminated the Lady Wildcats and advanced to the regional championship volleyball game against Farragut.
Oak Ridge and Hardin Valley were usually within a point or two and they were often tied, with the Lady Wildcats (20-11, 8-0 District 3-AAA) sometimes ahead. But the Lady Hawks (30-8-1, 6-2 District 4-AAA) had the lead at the end of all three sets, when it mattered most. The final scores were 25-21, 26-24, and 25-22.
“They played their hearts out,” Oak Ridge Coach David Kolodney said. “It’s a matter of inches. It’s a matter of a couple of points.”
The Lady Wildcats, who played without senior Stella Powell on Tuesday, fought through injuries and rotations this season, and played as a team, Kolodney said.
“I’m so proud of the way they played all year,” Kolodney said.
The usual players stepped up, and senior Alex Sherles, who is going to East Tennessee State University next fall, “played her heart out,” Kolodney said.
“You never want to lose your last game,” he said. “It’s disappointing.”
The Lady Wildcats have a solid core coming back next year, Kolodney said.
Hardin Valley and Farragut, which beat Anderson County in another Region 2-AAA semifinal on Tuesday, both won Class AAA sectional games on Thursday and advanced to the state volleyball tournament in Murfreesboro from October 19-21. The Lady Admirals, Class AAA runner-ups in 2015, beat Morristown West 3-0 in a sectional game Thursday, and the Lady Hawks beat Dobyns-Bennett 3-1.
Oak Ridge also lost in a Region 2-AAA semifinal game last year when Farragut eliminated the Lady Wildcats. Among the Farragut players is Alexis Parker, a senior who has committed to Indiana.
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