Lady Hawks beat nemesis FHS, No. 2 in Early Bird

Davidson pleased with development of young Lady Ads talent

Susan Davidson put a positive spin on her Farragut Lady Admirals’ high finish in the Gold Bracket of annual Early Bird volleyball tournament.

Farragut tied for third place after two days of action, featuring a 32-team field from across the state and one powerful program from South Carolina, which ended Saturday evening, Aug. 26, at FHS.

“For the whole tournament I’m really proud of my girls,” Davidson, in her ninth season as FHS head coach, said. “We’ve got a lot of youth coming around, that’s starting to give us an opportunity to connect, get ourselves into the system.

“They’ve improved a lot just since [the previous] weekend when we played in [Sunsphere] tournament,” Davidson added. “We’ve moved things around.”

Falling to rival Hardin Valley Academy in the Gold semifinals [2-0 in games] at FHS Saturday, Farragut defeated Powell, White County, Goodpasture and Cookeville twice for its five Early Bird wins. Its other losses came against Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett and Ravenwood.

The Lady Admirals’ overall record entering the week was 14-5.

“At one point we had 15 blocks [in one match], that mean’s we’re getting on the net. Our blocking has improved quite a bit,” the coach said.

Davidson also pointed out strong leadership from returnees Sydney Cherney, Allison Yander and Caroline Bower.

“Sydney Cherney has done an excellent job all week for us,” Davidson said about the junior outside hitter. “She’s been a leader all the way around as far as passing, setting.”

Against Cookeville, “She had four aces and a run of 12 [service] points,” Davidson added about Cherney.

“This tournament was 10 times better than the last tournament [the prior] weekend,” Cherney said about Early Bird in comparison with the Sunsphere tourney in downtown Knoxville.

“[Saturday] morning was a little bit of a slow start, but we got into the hang of it in the next two matches and we really ran with it,” she added.

As for the semifinal match loss, “Hardin Valley just has a little tug on us right now,” Cherney said, “but we’re going to overcome it.”

While Farragut played all of its games at FHS, where the Gold Bracket semifinals and finals were located, other sites over the two days were Farragut Middle School, HVA and Oak Ridge High School.

The four sites hosted pool play Friday, Aug. 25, while other sites hosted lower-level bracket championships Saturday.