Nolensville continues its smooth transition to class AAA

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Nolensville volleyball coach Brett Young was the first to step onto the court with his hands in the air when the final whistle sounded.

Then he took a step back.

On Young’s side in Nolensville, the reigning two-time Class AA champions had just ended Brentwood’s eight-year reign atop the Class AAA with a 3-0 sweep in the District 11-AAA semifinals.

Moving from Class AA to Class AAA with a team used to winning, Young believed this season would have some success.

The victory over Brentwood on home soil proved Young right.

“We’ve been successful the last few years so it’s not like we’re new and we have a lot of good players,” Young said. “It’s not an amazing thing and we are not a Cinderella team. We have a talented team that is playing really, very well.”

This kind of race that Nolensville (34-3) took part in in his inaugural season in class AAA is something that has been in the works for a few years.

Nolensville won his first state title in 2019 and went on to repeat in 2020 losing just one set in last year’s state tournament.

Young has said he credits the regular season clashes with teams like Brentwood and Ravenwood for preparing the Lady Knights to play against the best competition.

Then when Nolensville won a class and was placed in the same neighborhood as Brentwood and Ravenwood, nothing came as a shock. They were prepared for what to expect.

“I know they weren’t in our district the last few years, but we made sure to schedule and play tough teams in our non-conference,” Young said. “It’s different because when you’re in that neighborhood now it’s hard every night but our kids have been playing well all year.

“We’re 34-3 against a very difficult schedule which has prepared us for times like this. I can’t say enough how proud I am of the way they played.”

These experiences paid off.

The move to District 11-AAA saw the Lady Knights share their regular-season clashes with Brentwood and Ravenwood for a three-way tie at the top of the District.

They happened to draw the team that had dominated the AAA class since 2012 and a week and a half after sweeping Brentwood at home they were able to start over.

“I remember last year when we were in AA we were playing AAA teams and we were so motivated for this challenge,” said senior Maymie Guthrie. “Now that we’re in this moment and in this neighborhood, we know how to handle the pressure and it gives us the fire to be this team to beat.”

Senior Avery Young echoed Guthrie’s thoughts.

“We’ve played Brentwood so many times over the past few years and it seemed like they were always the best,” Young said. “When we faced them in the regular season this year and beat them, it made us feel like we could do it. It was such a great motivation to know we could beat a team like that and it didn’t have to be in a long game.

“Our team is full of talent at all ages and has so much depth. It’s something that I think we will have in a lot of teams in the future.”

Contact Joe Spears at [email protected] or 731-343-4923. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @ joe_spears7.

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