Last weekend’s Active Ankle Louisville Invitational Volleyball Tournament featured 16 of the top 25 teams in Kentucky, but it was a squad from suburban Atlanta that stole the show.
In less than eight hours on Saturday, Chattahoochee High School, ranked No. 13 in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com, took down Mercy (25-20, 25-20), Sacred Heart (25-17, 20-25, 25-19) and Assumption (27-25, 21-25, 25-19) to win the elite 24-team tournament at Ohio Valley Volleyball Center.
“This is the biggest win of our season,” said coach Jennie Blevins after knocking off Assumption in the final.
Senior outside hitters Kennedy Bryan and Emily Corrigan led the Cougars (20-4), who were competing in an out-of-state tournament for the first time in school history.
Bryan, who will play at Virginia Tech next fall, recorded 18 kills and17 digs in the championship match. Corrigan added 18 kills.
“They’re unbelievable,” said Blevins. “Whether it’s putting down a heavy ball or just finding the right spot, there’s so much that they do.”
After splitting the first two sets, Chattahoochee, leading 15-14 in the third, rattled off four straight points en route to a 25-19 victory.
“This was huge for us,” said Corrigan, an Appalachian State commitment. “We know there are some big teams here (in Louisville) and we wanted to put our school on the map nationally.”
The loss was the first of the season for Assumption (16-1), ranked No. 6 nationally, and snapped a 27-match winning streak that stretched back to October 2 of last season.
“I never really dreamed about going undefeated this year,” said coach Ron Kordes. “Overall I thought we did a lot of good things out there and competed. We got beat by a good team.”
The Rockets reached the final by topping Manual (25-10, 25-17) and Notre Dame of Ky. (25-10, 25-20) in the Gold Division Playoffs.
Both Assumption and Sacred Heart travel to Las Vegas this weekend for the Durango Invitational. Six teams ranked among the nation’s top 15 will be there, including No. 3 Marymount (Calif.) and No. 5 Walton (Ga.).
Jacob Thomson of Holy Cross headlines a strong field in the 56th annual Trinity Invitational at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park this Saturday.
The junior was runner-up at last year’s event and set a personal record of 15:17.92 that was the third fastest 5K in the country by a sophomore in 2010.
This year Thomson is looking to break the 15-minute mark for the first time in his career and will be challenged by top runners from Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri.
“It’s going to be a fast race on a nice, flat course so it should be a perfect time to do it (break 15:00),” said Thomson.
Likely to be running at the front of the pack with Thomson is Jacob Burcham of Cabell Midland High (W.Va.) who finished just one second behind Thomson last year.
Thomson, Kentucky’s top distance runner, opened this season with a win at the Tiger Run (15:32.04) on August 27 and followed it up a week later with a second-place finish at the Artesian Classic in Martinsville, Ind.
In Martinsville, Thomson ran a 15:40, just 12 seconds back from winner Futsum Zeinasellassie of Indianapolis, the nation’s second-ranked 5K runner.
During the 2010 track season Thomson claimed three individual Class-A state titles (800, 1600, 3200) and was top point-getter on the Cougars’ state championship team. His PR in the 3200 (9:15.37) is fifth fastest in state history.
Cougars coach Richard Reynolds expects Thomson to continue turning heads. “He’s very intense and headstrong when he’s out on the course. If he locks horns with someone they’re going to have a battle on their hands.”
The gun fires for the boys’ varsity race at 10:20 a.m. and the girls’ varsity begins at 11 a.m.
Kentucky Country Day, led by junior Mac Telle’s 1-over par 73, finished third in the Touchstone Energy All ‘A’ Classic State Tournament held at Silos Country Club in Paducah last Saturday.
The Bearcats fired a team score of 307. Paducah St. Mary won the event with a 293.
Telle placed sixth overall while fellow junior Rahool Bhimani carded a 74 (T8) and was the only other player from Jefferson County in the top 10. Brock Burton (78) and Will Smith (82) rounded out the scoring for KCD.
The Bearcats are 7-0 in head-to-head competition this season, impressing longtime coach Kevin Sullivan.
“Other than the team in ‘82 that advanced to the (KHSAA) state tournament, this is the best team I’ve ever had,” said Sullivan. “Our top four are juniors and they have the potential to make some noise this year and next.”
Contact columnist Chris Cahill at email@example.com.
Category: High School Sports Report