Lady Grizzlies advance to regional tournament

RUTLEDGE – The Grainger High School Lady Grizzlies volleyball team advanced to the finals of the district tournament last week, played at Anderson County High School. In doing so, they punched their ticket to this week’s regional tournament.

Grainger beat Gibbs High School in the district semi-finals in five sets, downing a team with whom the Lady Grizzlies split in the regular season. The victory put the Lady Grizzlies into the district finals where they faced a powerful Anderson County team. The Lady Mavericks were able to win the match.

Despite the disappointment of not claiming the top spot in the district, Lady Grizzlies head coach Jessica Maxey said the ability to keep playing is something her team is thankful for. 

“We were excited about making the regional tournament. We knew going into the district final that Anderson County would be very difficult to beat. They are a team that has been to the state tournament the last three years and have three or four girls who are All-State players. They are always a tough matchup,” Maxey said.

Grainger plays Carter High School and Anderson County will face Knox Central in the other half of the regional bracket. If the Lady Grizzlies can get past Carter, they will face Anderson County for the fourth time this season. Maxey said the focus is on Carter and the Lady Hornets will not be an easy out. 

“We haven’t played Carter this year but we have in the last several years. They always have a very solid volleyball team and based on the footage we have watched on them, they have a couple of really good hitters. They also have some experience and are always a well-coached and well-prepared team,” Maxey said.

Maxey is telling her team to keep grinding away as they enter this week’s regional. 

“The big thing for us is we have to keep working. Sometimes we don’t play very well if we get behind and kind of run on emotions, so we have to stay positive and keep working if we get down in a game,” Maxey said.

The junior varsity squad played in the JV tournament last week at Anderson County. They defeated their first opponent, Gibbs High School, 2-0, then fell to Anderson County in three sets, 2-1. The Lady Grizzlies finished the regular season in second place and earned second place in the tournament. Zoe Livesay was chosen All-Tournament for the JV tourney.

Other honors were announced following the varsity tournament which includes:

Offensive Player of the Year

Olivia Bolin 

Freshman of the Year

Maddie Hurst

All District - 

Olivia Bolin 

Tyrah White

Davie Harbin

Maddie Hurst

Honorable Mention All District

Alyvia Sneed

Marly Tanner

Madison Phillips

All Tournament Team -

Varsity Tournament 

Davie Harbin

Maddie Hurst

All Tournament Team - 

JV Tournament 

Zoe Livesay