Volleyball Team Loses District Title to Prin

Danni Coates makes contact in the victory over Valley Park at the district tournament at Principia. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

25-23 loss in second set ends Eagles’ 24-win season

By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

Lydia Dorenbusch is the first server in the opening set against Valley Park.

The Brentwood High School volleyball team’s promising season came to a sudden end last week with a two-set loss to Principia in the championship of the Class 2 District 4 tournament. It was a rude exit for a team that was the tournament’s top seed and had won 24 of its previous 31 matches.

Not that they went without a fight. Playing at Principia, the Eagles lost the first set 25-12 but fought hard with the season on the line in set 2 before losing 25-23.

But don’t call it a big upset. Though the No. 2-seeded Commanders entered the tournament with a record of 10-11, they had played Brentwood about as close as you can back in September before losing 27-25, 20-25, 25-19. The two teams were a good match for each other.

Principia went on to lose to Bloomfield in a fight to reach the state quarterfinals.

After receiving a bye in the first round of the district tournament, Brentwood made quick work of Valley Park in the semifinal, winning 25-8, 25-8. It was the final win for a team driven by a talented, close-knit group of seniors that included Danni Coates, Emily Connor, Lydia Dorenbusch, Aliah Erby and Lauren Macy.

The Eagles finished with a record of 24-8. They went 10-0 in the South Central Athletic Association Conference, the first time in four years they’ve won it outright.

2014 Brentwood Results and Schedule
Final record: 24-8

Beat MRH 25-16, 26-24
Beat Gateway Science 25-5, 25-2
Beat Lutheran North 25-21, 20-25, 25-22
Lost to Affton 25-13, 25-13
Lost to Clayton 22-25, 25-17, 25-19
Beat Jennings 25-3, 25-8
Beat Hancock 25-4, 25-18

Brentwood Invitational, 2nd place:
Lost to Bayless 25-14, 25-22
Beat Miller Career 25-12, 25-9
Beat Lutheran North 25-17, 25-21
Beat North County Christian 25-15, 25-9
Beat Lutheran North 25-21, 25-20
Lost to Bayless 25-19, 25-21

Beat Bayless 25-21, 25-17
Lost to John F. Kennedy 25-17, 26-24
Beat Crossroads 25-18, 25-13
Beat Valley Park 25-16, 25-7
Beat Principia 27-25, 20-25, 25-19

Crossroads Tournament, 2nd place:
Beat Miller Career Academy 25-12, 25-9
Beat Metro 25-17, 25-14
Beat Crossroads 25-14, 25-14
Beat Hancock 25-14, 25-12
Beat Crossroads 25-20, 25-17
Lost to Bayless 19-25, 25-21, 25-23

Beat Hancock 25-10, 25-11
Beat Bayless 28-26, 25-22
Beat Crossroads 25-12, 25-18
Lost to Orchard Farm 15-25, 25-21, 25-11
Beat Valley Park 25-10, 25-17
Beat Maplewood 25-19, 25-21

District tournament at Principia:
Beat Valley Park 25-8, 25-8
Lost to Principia 25-12, 25-23 in championship

All photos, from Oct. 21 match with Valley Park, by Steve Bowman

Brentwood coach Whitney Ralph puts her team through a pregame hitting warmup exercise before the match with Valley Park.
Emily Connor and her buddy Danni Coates listen to final instructions from Whitney Ralph before the match.
Emily Connor practices her overhand stroke before the match with Valley Park.
The Eagles stand at attention during the National Anthem.
Claudia Jones (left) smiles at Yumi Sasaki as Sasaki is introduced over the P.A. system before the match.
Danni Coates shares some thoughts in a huddle before the Valley Park match begins.
A team stomp marks a Brentwood point in the first set.
Danni Coates’s hit is watched closely by her teammates (from left) Caroline Snare, Aliah Erby, Claudia Jones and Yumi Sasaki, and her assistant coach Erica Robertson.
Lauren Macy serves in the first set.
Caroline Snare winds up to serve.
Waiting for Valley Park’s serve are (from left) Kate Gilmore, Aliah Erby and Danni Coates.
Emma Holmes (center) and teammates score a point in the first set.
Kate Gilmore controls the net at this point in the second set.
Lydia Dorenbusch sets the ball in front of Kate Gilmore and Danni Coates.
Emily Connor keeps a ball in play.
Yumi Sasaki sets a ball as Aliah Erby and coach Whitney Ralph watch.
The faces of Emily Connor and coach Whitney Ralph indicate that something funny just happened in the first set.
Danni Coates aims to tap the ball over Valley Park’s front row in the second set.
Lauren Macy in the second set.
Lauren Macy praises Caroline Snare for her block.
Enjoying a 20-8 lead in the second set are (from left) Danni Coates, Lydia Dorenbusch and Kate Gilmore.
Emily Connor controls the ball late in the second set.

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