BY DARREN REESE
The West Greene volleyball team was competitive in most of its sets against South Greene during the 2012 regular season, but the Lady Buffaloes were unable to break through in the win column against their cross-county rivals.
That trend stayed true Thursday night, as well, as the two teams met in the championship game of the District 2-AA tournament at Chuckey-Doak High School.
Top-seeded South Greene used solid passing, complimented by the strong offensive attack of Maelyn Cutshaw and Alora Ricker, to roll to a 3-0 victory and the school's second consecutive district title.
Both teams advance to the Region 1-AA tournament, which will be played in its entirety Tuesday night at South Greene. The Lady Rebels will play Sullivan North, while West Greene is set to take on Sullivan East. East defeated North in four games Tuesday night to claim the District 1-AA title.
"We knew that we had to come out strong, because West Greene is an all-around good team," Cutshaw said. "We played good defense tonight. We made good passes, the back row played great. It was just a great team effort."
The final game scores were 25-20, 25-17 and 25-19.
Cutshaw dominated the first set with 10 kills and finished with 24 for the night. The senior hitter had 44 kills in two tournament games and was named the 2012 District 2-AA Tournament Most Valuable Player for her efforts.
"I couldn't have done it without my team," she said.
West Greene head coach Reece Baughard knew that his team would have to turn in one of its best efforts of the season to upset the Lady Rebels. He hopes that the Lady Buffaloes can get things corrected in order to avoid losing to Sullivan East in the region semifinals for the second consecutive year.
"South Greene is such an athletic team," Baughard said. "We needed to come out an execute perfectly tonight and we didn't do that."
West Greene senior Charlotte Murphy finished with 11 kills and seven blocks in the loss. After the game, she was recognized as the District Co-Player of the Year, along with Ricker.
"We have the ability, we just didn't bring it tonight," Murphy said. "Our passing and blocking definitely have to be better against teams like South Greene."
"It's my senior year and we have had a good season, but I'm not ready for it to be over. We still have the region tournament left and we have a chance to maybe play (South Greene) again."
Ricker added 15 kills in the victory. Her and Cutshaw had seven apiece in the third set to close out the match.
"I thought we passed the ball a little better this tournament than we did toward the end of the regular season," South Greene head coach Stephen Gregg said. "West Greene has a tradition of playing us real tough and we are fortunate to come out with a 3-0 win."
Rachel Hensley finished with seven kills for the Lady Buffaloes.
At the conclusion of the night, Cutshaw, Ricker, Javan Wilhoit and Konner Donahue were named to the All-Tournament team for South Greene. Representing West Greene were Murphy, Hensley and Rachel Barnes.
Chuckey-Doak, which fell to South-Greene in the semifinals Tuesday night, placed Taylor Campbell and Keri Ricker on the squad. Also making it were Allison Hodge and Holly Black of Grainger and Lorena Leon of Greeneville.