“They played hard and made tremendous strides in their ability, their working together and communication in just two days,” Bearette head coach Christie McElhaney said.
Chattanooga Central defeated Bradley Central in two games to claim first place in the tournament.
This was Bradley’s ninth year hosting the Bash, which it won last year.
To make it into the championship round the Bearettes defeated both Trousdale County (from Hartsville) and Tennessee High (Bristol), while the Lady Pounders defeated both Rhea County and Boyd-Buchanan.
After splitting two sets with Tennessee High, Bradley was able to punch its ticket to the championship game against Central.
In pool play the Bearettes had previously beaten the Lady Pounders 2-0, but they were unable to see a repeat of that in the final match.
Bradley was without its pair of 6-foot-2 towering middle hitters/blockers, Brooke Copeland and Rebecca Reuter, so some position shuffling had to be done. Copeland is still recovering from elbow surgery, while Reuter was out with the flu.
“Our outside hitters, who also play back row, really kind of started getting themselves into synch — we’ve always needed them to stand up and be big players,” McElhaney commented. “I had a junior setter who went in and played just front row as a hitter for us and did tremendous. We brought a freshman up on Friday to sit in her spot. We had new people in new places but they made great strides.”
Overall coach McElhaney was proud of her team’s efforts over the weekend, but still saw areas where her players could show improvement.
“I want us to still improve on our communication, which will help us in a lot of those little situations,” McElhaney said.
Cleveland’s JV team walked away from the Bradley Bash as the JV tournament winners after defeating Notre Dame.
The Bearettes travel across town tol take on Cleveland in District 5-AAA action Tuesday evening. The varsity action will begin at 6:15 p.m., with the JV and freshman to preceed.