The middle school playoffs started on Monday, with tri-matches at 4 sites. Each year I try to make my way to catch a little bit of the action at every site. I started my trip off with the Small Division. KIPP Prep hosted Jeter in the first game, losing 2-0. Barrets Chapel went up against Maxine Smith STEAM Academy next and after battling it out for 3 sets, STEAM Academy advanced to play Jeter in the semi-finals. Jeter put up a good fight but eventually fell to STEAM Academy who secured their spot in the championship game. On the other side of the bracket Westside played host to JP Freeman, advancing in that game after winning 2-0. Bellevue played MAHS, winning in 2 sets to set up the semi-final game of last year’s runner-up Westside versus defending champ Bellevue. Bellevue came out victorious once again to advance to the finals. Both teams representing Small Area 2 played once this season, giving STEAM their only loss in a game that went all 3 sets. On Tuesday at SCIAA they were ready for their rematch and looking to win their first title and unseat Bellevue who have won the Small School Division for 5 straight years. The first set was all STEAM, winning 25-14, but Bellevue was not ready to give up they came back ready in the second set winning 25-16 and forcing a 3rd and final match that ended Bellevue’s winning streak 15-6. Maxine Smith STEAM Academy coached by Margaret Norris-Williams and led by game MVP Kristian Hudson took home their first ever SCIAA Volleyball Championship.
The final two playoff sites were White Station and Ridgeway Middle. White Station hosted Havenview in the first game winning 2-0, up next was Colonial versus Craigmont with Colonial coming out on top in that match. The semi-final match was the second meeting between Colonial and White Station. Earlier this season in non-league play these two teams met with White Station winning in 2 sets. Colonial came ready to play and redeemed themselves from their earlier loss so they could advance to the championship game. At the final stop I headed to Ridgeway to catch the semi-final match between defending champ Hickory Ridge and Ridgeway. Earlier in the evening Ridgeway beat Cordova 2-0 and Hickory Ridge won against Sherwood 2-0. I think there was a little bit of nerves at play as both of these teams were excited and hoping to advance. The nerves seemed to have got the best of Hickory Ridge as they fell in 2 sets sending Ridgeway to meet Colonial in the Large Division Championship. With two of the top teams from Area 2 meeting up again for the second time this was sure to be a good match up. Ridgeway’s only loss this season was a 3 set match to Colonial. Both teams started off strong, Colonial played some good games this year and Ridgeway with their only loss at the hands of Colonial was looking to get revenge. The score stayed close the entire first set; Ridgeway edged out Colonial 25-23. In the second set, Colonial lost a little steam while the Roadrunners kept things moving, easily winning the second and final set 25-10. The MVP of the game was LaNiyah Jackson. Coach Watkins and her team were extremely excited to be crowned Large Division Champions.
Congratulations to all of the teams that participated in the tournament and our runner-ups Bellevue and Colonial. The final four will be facing the West TN area champions in the TMSAA Sectional on Thursday. The Large schools will play at Brighton Middle and Bellevue will host the Small schools. Games start at 5pm.