BY WAYNE PHILLIPS
SPORTS EDITOR EMERITUS
MURFREESBORO - South Greene's quest for the school's first volleyball state title ended here Thursday morning at the hands of two-time defending state champion Page High School of Franklin.
The potent Patriots swept the Lady Rebels 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-14), eliminating SGHS from the tourney with their second loss of the event.
"We just didn't play up to our potential down here," said Reb Coach Stephen Gregg, "and that's very disappointing. But I'm very proud of these girls and what they've accomplished.
"I know we are better than what we showed today and last night. We played two very good teams in Goodpasture and Page, but the girls know they could have played better."
Page, who had been upset by Christian Academy of Knoxville in their first game of the tourney to be relegated to the loser's bracket, came out with a vengeance in the first match of the day Thursday at Middle Tennessee State's Murphy Center, quickly seizing command of the momentum and never letting the Rebels get into it.
The Patriots showed a complete skill-set, led by heavy hitters in the middle in senior Maggie Allen (6-1) and sophomore Alyssa Casillas (6-0).
Rebel senior Maelyn Cutshaw slammed down two early kills in the first set and the score was tied early at 2-2. But Page then went on a 5-0 run, sparked by two service aces by Riley Rapert, forcing the Rebs to burn a time out.
It did nothing to halt the surge as the lead continued to grow before the Patriots closed out the set at 25-12.
That momentum continued into the second set as Page broke from an early 1-1 tie to score four straight to take control. The Rebels did make one run, cutting an 11-3 deficit down to 12-8 as Ashton Wykle at serve came up with some winners, including a nice hit by Maci Brown and a kill by Cutshaw.
But Page recovered and bolted from the 12-8 lead to a 17-9 advantage and never looked back, closing out the set at 25-11.
A service ace by Alora Ricker to start the third set staked the Rebs to the early lead, but it quickly vanished as the error-free Lady Patriots began to take control at the net with kills and blocks. The set ended at 25-14 to give Page the game victory.
For the Rebels, senior Javan Wilhoit had 13 assists, senior Jessica Gallihar added eight digs, Ricker came up with 10 kills, while Cutshaw had seven kills and two aces.
The Rebs close their season with a 31-8 worksheet in their fourth straight appearance in the Class AA state tournament.
Cutshaw, Gallihar, Wilhoit, Brown and Konnor Donahue are the five seniors on the team that captured both the District 1-AA and Regionh 1-AA titles.
Page was defeated later in the day by CAK 3-1, and CAK will play for the state championship today against Goodpasture after beating East Hamilton of Chattanooga in the finals of the loser's bracket.