If the District 5-AAA Volleyball Tournament at Jim Smiddy Arena this week is anything like the coaches seeding meeting Friday, its will be a hotly contested battle.
With a three-way atop the league standings at the end of the regular season, the district bylaws were consulted for the tie-breaker process. However, a difference in interpretation resulted in a two-hour heated debate that was ultimately settled by a controversial vote.
Bradley Central, Ooltewah and Soddy-Daisy each posted a 9-3 record in district play this season. They had also split their matches with each other, plus each recorded the same number of game victories in those matches.
The next criteria called for the “number of games lost,” in which Ooltewah had seven, Bradley eight and Soddy-Daisy nine.
While some felt that when one team had been eliminated by the tie-breaker process, the two teams left would then revert back to head-to-head competition. Others felt strongly that since there was no tie in “games lost” the seeding should follow those results.
After much debate, the coaches declined a coin-flip solution and instead took a vote on what the interpretation should be, with the latter winning by a slim 4-3 margin.
The results of the vote gives Ooltewah (25-9, 9-3) the first-round bye as the No. 1 seed and will await the winner of fourth-seeded Cleveland (19-18, 7-5) and No. 5 Walker Valley (15-22, 5-7), who will open the event in a 4:30 match Monday.
The host Bradley Central (27-12, 9-3) squad is the event’s second seed and close the opening night’s schedule at 7:30 against McMinn County (9-13, 0-12), the No. 7 seed.
The middle match Monday evening will be between third-seeded Soddy-Daisy (31-18, 9-3) and No. 6 Rhea County (8-16, 3-9).
“In 32 years of coaching (in the district) we’ve never had a three-way tie,” commented Soddy-Daisy coach Lorri Johnson. “To be honest with you, I’m glad we’re not the No. 1 seed, because I wouldn’t want to have a bye and then have to face the Cleveland-Walker Valley winner after they’ve gotten pumped up by beating the other. We have several strong teams that can win this tournament.”
The single-elimination tournament’s semifinals will be held Tuesday evening, with Ooltewah taking on either the Lady Raiders or Lady Mustangs at 5 p.m., followed by Monday’s other winners clashing at 6:30.
Earning a Region 3-AAA Tournament berth, Tuesday’s winners will go head-to-head for the district crown Wednesday evening at 6. The champion will get to host a region opening match on Oct. 15.