BY DARREN REESE
MURFREESBORO - Goliath did not go down in Murfreesboro Friday.
Goodpasture, nationally ranked and unbeaten on the season, proved too strong for South Greene.
Led by Auburn commitment Macy Reece, the Lady Cougars rolled to a 3-0 victory in the championship match of the TSSAA Class A state volleyball tournament at The Murphy center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.
But in defeat, South Greene head coach Stephen Gregg praised his girls and said they should be nothing but proud of what they accomplished this season.
"It's like I told the girls, there are 403 teams in TSSAA and to be one of the last 10 is a great accomplishment," Gregg said. "It's just a great group of girls."
"The seniors are going to be missed. It's hard to see them leave out on a note like this. But they have nothing to hang their heads about. What they accomplished this year was amazing. I'm very, very proud of them."
The Lady Rebels finished the 2013 campaign with a school record 38-4 overall mark and finished it off with a state runner-up showing.
South Greene faced the tall task of trying to knock off Goodpasture -a private school who came in boasting a perfect 47-0 record on the year.
The Lady Cougars became only the third team in TSSAA recorded history to finish a season undefeated. The last was Chattanooga Kirkman in 1977.
Goodpasture won the Class AA state championship last year, and like South Greene, they dropped down a classification during the latest round of TSSAA realignment this past offseason.
"We saw why they are undefeated," Gregg said. "You look at their roster and they have kids from five different counties, it's not real fair to the rest of the field. But until TSSAA changes it, everybody has to go through that."
South Greene had already lost to the Lady Cougars once in the tournament, falling 25-18, 25-13 and 25-12 Thursday in the winners' bracket finals.
The game scores Friday were 25-11, 25-9 and 25-12.
Reece was a one-girl wrecking crew in both games against the Lady Rebels.
She recorded four kills in a seven-point stretch to end game one and South Greene never recovered from there.
Reece had three straight kills to push the Lady Cougars advantage to double digits (18-8) in game two.
The final set was pretty much the same.
Goodpasture broke out of the gates in all three games, and led by five or more points in each before they reached the 10-point mark.
The day brought to an end an impressive run for South Greene, who went 9-1 in the games of its three tournament wins.
The scene was emotional as the Lady Rebels prepared to leave the Murphy Center, particularly for seniors Alora Ricker, Kylie Renner, Taylor Coakley and Paige Haire.
"We had a lot of people who said we wouldn't get back to state," Gregg said. "I think that drove a lot of our players."
"Losing two all-staters (Javan Wilhoit and Maelyn Cutshaw) - and not just them but our entire senior class that we lost last year. This group grew up real fast. They had to step into big roles, and it's remarkable to see how they've come together. They've been a joy to be around, and they are going to be missed greatly."