After holding their own in a loss to six-time defending state champion Brentwood in their opening match of the TSSAA Class AAA tournament, the Lady Trailblazers dropped a heartbreaker against Cleveland in an elimination match, 17-25, 25-22, 26-24, 12-25, 15-10.
“This was a tough one to lose,” said Boone coach Chelsea Baker, whose team was playing in its first-ever state tournament at the Class AAA level. “These seniors have carried this team all season and I hate it had to end like this. They played their hearts out.”
The Lady Trailblazers reached the state tournament for the first time since 1998 after capturing their first district championship since 1995.
Boone struggled in the first set against Brentwood but finally found its footing. The Lady Bruins wouldn’t be denied their 22nd straight tournament win, however, prevailing 25-12, 25-20, 25-21.
“Everyone talks about how they’re going for their seventh state championship in a row and that can be intimidating,” Baker noted. "They came out hitting the ball really hard and I think we kind of got starstruck.
“After that, we started making errors on our own and we were never able to get enough momentum or energy to get over the hump. They’re a very good team and, not taking anything away from them at all, but we just made too many errors.”
Jaycie Jenkins led the way for Boone with seven kills, nine digs and two blocks, and Greyson Stevens threw in five kills and four blocks. McKenna Dietz had 17 assists, 11 digs and four blocks and Laken Jones had nine digs.
Daniel Boone made nine blocks as a team, led by Dannah Persinger’s four. Mackenzie Sweigart had one block and a pair of kills.
Boone committed 17 hitting errors and did not fare well as a team, mustering just a .053 hitting percentage.
The beginning of the end for the Lady Trailblazers came in the fourth set against Cleveland when they fell way behind and couldn’t get back on track.
Boone gained some momentum against the Lady Blue Raiders in the fifth set, but it was too little, too late.
Jenkins and Stevens each slammed 11 kills and Riley Brinn had 10 to lead the Boone offense. Persinger threw in nine kills and Sweigart eight.
Dietz totaled 42 assists and 28 digs for another double-double. Jenkins added 26 digs, Sweigart 19, Jones 18 and Brinn 10.
Boone committed 27 hitting errors and couldn’t overcome the mistakes late.