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Strong start sends Friendship to winner's final
Oct 26, 2012 12:00 am
Lady Commanders two wins from repeat
By ANDY REED
MURFREESBORO — Friendship Christian started Wednesday's State Tournament like a team determined to repeat as state champions.
The Lady Commanders opened with a 25-3 win over Loretto and finished off the Lady Mustangs 25-14, 25-17. They returned to Middle Tennessee State's Murphy Center to sweep Concord Christian 25-22, 25-15, 25-14.
"We started off pretty good, [and it] went downhill from there," Friendship coach Randy Alley said after his Lady Commanders advanced to today's winner's-bracket final with a 55-4 record. "I didn't like the way our last match went. We could have played much better."
Friendship finished with 34 errors against Concord, which didn't prevent the Lady Commanders from advancing to today's 1 p.m. match against Boyd Buchanan at Blackman.
Against Loretto, Kaitlyn Teeter led the Lady Commanders with 18 kills, four digs, three aces and three blocks while Alex Sealy supplied seven kills, four blocks and two aces; Sam Finley six digs, four aces and three blocks; Ali Burroughs five kills, two aces and a block; Sarah Hall 33 assists and a kill and Morgan Imler a pair of aces.
Teeter totaled 29 kills, seven digs and three aces against Concord while Hall had 36 assists and five aces, Sealy nine kills and six digs, Burroughs six kills and two aces, Imler five digs and Finley a pair of aces.
Boyd Buchanan advanced with a 3-2 win over Grace Christian and a 3-0 verdict over Madison Academic Magnet. The Lady Buccaneers, who beat Friendship in Chattanooga in the sectional three years ago on the way to the first Class A championship, lost to the Lady Commanders last year in the same round at the Bay Family Sportsplex. The teams did not meet this season.
"They're very good court-ball [team]," Alley said of the Lady Bucs. "They're not big.
"They're more of a defensive team than they are an offensive team. They play good together and don't let balls drop. They don't make a lot of mistakes. If we have our offense we should be in good shape. But we have to have our offense."
Today's winner will play for the championship at 2 p.m. Friday at Murphy Center while the loser drops into the 4:30 loser's final.
Friday's match will be streamed live at www.TSSAANetwork.com. It will also be televised on tape delay at 8 p.m. Saturday on Nashville's WNPT Channel 8.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952, ext. 17; or by email at email@example.com