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Day 1 wins send Tribe on to clash with Brentwood

Tanner Cook • Oct 23, 2019 at 1:04 AM

MURFREESBORO — A rally against an old rival kept the Dobyns-Bennett volleyball team on track to reach the winners’ bracket on Tuesday in the TSSAA Class AAA tournament at Middle Tennessee State’s Murphy Center.

After looking a little shaky at first, the Lady Indians came back to take a 20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-17 victory over Ravenwood.

“It’s a tough adjustment anytime you’re at MTSU with the lights and the different ball,” D-B coach Haley Price said. “It was really the first few points of getting in a rhythm. Once we found it, we never lost it. Even when we dropped the first set, we knew that we would have a much easier road than last year.”

After figuring out the Lady Raptors’ attack, D-B shifted its focus to the outer edges of the court and took advantage of the athletic talents of Staley Humphries and Sithney Wolfe.

Hannah Watson led the balanced Tribe offense with 15 kills. Meg Maynor threw in 14, Wolfe had 12 and Humphries 10. Maynor and Watson also recorded four blocks each.

D-B’s defense was equally outstanding, especially in the second and third sets when Humphries and sophomore libero Zoie Larkins were seemingly everywhere at once.

Larkins showed the way with 31 digs and Humphries had 30. Sarah Moore chipped in 13, Rylee Waye 12 and Carly Shell nine.

Waye also came up with 45 assists.

“What I’m most proud of them for is adjusting on the fly,” Price said. “We had to make some really critical changes to our positioning.

“Our scouting report looked a little bit different than what we saw on tape and we were able to adjust to those and take the win.”

The win earned Price’s squad a matchup with the team they beat last year at state — Houston of Germantown — and the Lady Indians didn’t disappoint.

D-B clinched its winners’ bracket berth with a 25-23, 23-25, 25-17, 25-9 win in its second match of the tournament.

The Tribe stole the first set by rallying from down 19-13. The Lady Mustangs made a run in the second set, but D-B’s defense picked up in the third and fourth games.

“With a statement win like that, it feels great to be in that winners’ bracket final,” Price said. “To watch Hannah Watson block six of those first seven points in the fourth set and Staley to have a great run of winning serves, that’s all you can ask for in a semifinals win.”

Watson finished with 15 kills, Humphries 12 and Maynor 11. Maynor totaled six aces and Humphries five.

Waye played her usual great game at setter, closing with 41 assists.

On defense, Watson finished with eight blocks, and Wolfe and Maynor had two apiece. Humphries finished with 26 digs, Larkins 19, Waye 16 and Shell 11.

The Tribe earned a date with the six-time defending state champion Brentwood on Wednesday at 2 p.m. on Court 2 inside the Murphy Center.

“We faced (Brentwood) earlier in the preseason,” Price said. “The first thing is that we’re going to make their coach actually stand up and coach.

“Secondly, we’re going to be relentless. We’re not going to get frustrated when they have some hard swings.

“We’re just going to play smart,” the coach said.