The Lady Indians, who lost their tournament opener to Brentwood on Tuesday morning, dropped a heartbreaking first set against Station Camp when the Lady Bison reeled off 14 of the last 22 points.
But the Lady Indians asserted their will over the next two sets before a back-and-forth fourth set needed a rally near the end after D-B fell behind 20-17 and faced set point four times. The Tribe fought off every Station Camp attempt to take the match.
A quick final three points kept the Lady Indians’ state championship hopes alive.
“That game was an example of the family atmosphere that we’ve had all year,” said Tribe coach Megan Devine, whose team plays Cookeville on Wednesday at 11 a.m. “This is the top eight teams in the state and you’ve got to be ready to play. They were down and they never gave up. That is something that they responded from this morning. We didn’t have our best game and we came out and we played as a family. That’s how we won tonight.
“We knew that No. 12 outside (Gracelyn Carvacho) was going to Ole Miss,” Devine added. We scouted her and we watched her this morning. They live and die by her, so we made the decision to serve aggressive and kept her out of the system.”
Hannah Watson had a huge night for D-B on offense with 23 kills and an unbelievable .425 hitting percentage.
Rylee Waye continued her remarkable postseason run as the setter with 49 assists for the Lady Indians. She had a 50-assist night just last week.
Courtney Whitson also had 12 kills along with five digs and two blocks for the Tribe.
Chloe Harless had 24 digs to lead D-B on defense and Carly Shell added 19.
Staley Humphries had 17 digs and nine kills and Zoie Larkins had 12.
EARLIER IN THE DAY
The Lady Indians were greeted at the state tournament by five-time state champion Brentwood, which won 25-21, 25-16, 25-17.
View the photo gallery from the match
The Tribe started each set well, going point for point with the Bruins and taking the lead at times, but eventually Brentwood’s size and power took over.
The Bruins’ front three of Shaye Eggleston, Morgan Carter and Tori Carpenter each stands over 6 feet tall, dwarfing the Tribe frontline.
Carter, a sophomore for the Lady Bruins, has an older sister that is a freshman at Texas this season. She gave the Lady Indians headaches by skying above the net and hitting the ball straight down with authority.
“Brentwood is a great team. We just didn’t come ready to play today,” Devine said. “We got down and it’s hard to crawl out of a hole. We came out slow and we didn’t play the way that we’ve played all season to get us to this point.
“We’d start well and then hit a certain point in the game where we’d create a series of unforced errors. ... Chloe Harless is our vocal leader and she did a phenomenal job in the match. Everyone needs to jump on her back and get going because it’s do or die.”
Watson finished with 10 kills and Humphries had eight kills and 12 digs against the Bruins. Whitson had eight kills to go with five digs.
Waye had 29 assists and 16 digs for a double-double.
Harless had 18 digs to lead the Tribe on defense.