ON TUESDAY -- No. 1 Mt. Juliet won in four games over No. 4 Beech 25-19, 25-23, 17-25, 25-20. No. 2 seed Portland was a three-game winner over No. 6 Hendersonville 25-10, 25-12, 27-25 in the District 9AAA semifinals.
The district is guaranteed a new champion for the first time since 2008. Three-time defending champion Wilson Central was upset in five games by Hendersonville on Monday night. Portland has finished as runner-up each of the last three years.
Coach Jennifer Wilson's Lady Bears hit 10 points quickly in the first game and built an 18-9 lead before Beechs first run. The Lady Buccaneers reeled off runs of 6-0 and 5-0 to cut the lead to four on both occasions. The final time was at 23-19 before Mt. Juliet scored the last two to get the win.
It was Beechs turn in the second game as it opened up a 5-1 lead and maintained a three-five-point margin until Mt. Juliet made its run at the 18-point mark. Trailing 18-12, the Lady Golden Bears outscored the Lady Bucs 13-5 the rest of the way including ties at 21 and 23 and the final two points of the game to pick up the second victory.
Beech again jumped out to a quick lead in the first elimination game (6-1) and saw the lead reach an eight-point margin at 11-3 and trimmed down to two at 17-15. But the Lady Bucs had the final spurt, outscoring Mt. Juliet 8-2 to get its only win of the day.
In the fourth game, Mt., Juliet took a 2-1 lead and never trailed afterwards, pushing the advantage as high as seven before getting the five-point win and the semifinal victory.
Ryann Amity led the Lady Bears with 12 kills, seven digs, three blocks and a pair of aces. Halle Raines had 32 assists for the winners.
All-District 9AAA Team Courtney Glover, Senior Hendersonville, Outside Hitter Kylie Bradley, Senior Portland, Middle Hitter Nikki Lowe, Senior Portland, Libero Kaylie White, Senior Station Camp, Right side Hitter Korri Bowers, Senior Wilson Central, Outside Hitter Kendall Roberts, Senior Wilson Central, Libero Falon Baker, Junior Beech, Setter Alex Britt, Junior Lebanon, Middle Hitter Allyson Huffman, Junior Mt. Juliet, Outside Hitter Sarah Kibbey, Junior Portland, Setter 9AAA MVP Ryann Amity, Junior, Mt. Juliet 9AAA Coach of the Year Molly Yarbrough, Station Camp