KNOXVILLE — The 2017 season came to an end for the Farragut High School volleyball team.
The Lady Admirals, who had made the Class AAA state tournament in each of the last four seasons and reached the championship match three consecutive times, saw things come to an end with a 3-1 loss to Maryville at South-Doyle High School in the loser’s bracket semifinals Wednesday, Oct. 4.
Despite seeing things end early, Farragut head coach Susan Davidson saw plenty of reasons for optimism.
“We had a young team this year and then we had a lot of injuries,” Davidson said. “It was a rough deal. We have a tough district.
“We lost most of our sets by two to five points and we lost our leaders due to injury, and at the end of the season we were starting three really good freshmen.
“We’re looking forward to moving on and we’re starting to look forward.”
Despite facing adversity, the Lady Admirals did manage to finish second in District 3-AAA regular season, one of the toughest leagues in the state of Tennessee.
Hardin Valley Academy won both the regular-season championship and tournament titles. The Lady Hawks posted a perfect district record and had non-league victories versus three-time defending state state champions Brentwood [Class AAA] and Webb School of Knoxville [Division II-A].
The Lady Hawks joined Farragut in Murfreesboro last year and posted a third-place finish. Hardin Valley was eliminated by the Lady Admirals in the midstate in 2016.
“Our district was tough and Hardin Valley got everybody back,” Davidson said. “I fully expect that they’ll make a deep run at state. [Coach] Mitzi [McCurry] has done a great job over there.”
“Maryville, William Blount, Heritage and Lenoir City have good teams. South-Doyle is rebuilding. They had a new coach this year and they’ve really improved.”
Farragut had three players receive All-District 3-AAA First Team honors. Caroline Bower, Sydney Cherney and Allison Yander were all named to the First Team.
Bower was the district’s Hitter of the Year and Cherney was 3-AAA Setter of the Year.
Lexi Cosey was Second Team All-District.
Davidson said Cherney emerged as a team leader and played through injury late in the year.
“Sydney played through injury and she played every position on the floor for us this year,” Davidson said. “The way that she mentored the younger players during our matches was amazing.
“Caroline really played well for us until she got hurt.”
Davidson said volleyball in the Knoxville Area has gotten better because three district teams [Farragut, Hardin Valley and Heritage] all fielded freshmen teams along with Karns and Knoxville Catholic.
“We have the schools that added a freshman team and that means that 12 to 15 girls got to play this year who wouldn’t have gotten the chance to play before,” Davidson said. “Karns and Catholic also had freshman teams in the area.
“Our freshman team didn’t play too much, but they went undefeated.”