For the past few seasons, the Portland volleyball team has had its fair share of success in a difficult District 9 AAA division. The Panthers have cruised to three-straight sectional appearances in Class AAA, but for the last three years their road has come to an end in Williamson County.
When Portland got the news that their volleyball team would drop down to Class AA following the TSSAA's decision to redo districts back in 2016, the Panthers were excited. No longer would they go up against the goliaths of Brentwood and Ravenwood in the sectionals.
"We are very excited about moving down to AA," volleyball coach Rob Lessemann said. "If we don't get to the state tournament this year, it will be on the coaches."
The Lady Panthers will join District 11AA, Region 5AA and will now go up against the likes of Springfield, Macon County, White House, Greenbrier, and White House Heritage for their region games; a schedule that should be much more beneficial to the Panthers.
Portland will hit the courts for a day camp on August 5 that will begin around 1 p.m., running through 7 p.m. Following their camp, the Lady Panthers will have 10 days before their opening game against South Warren on Aug. 15 at 6 p.m.
Portland will open its first five games of the season at home before hitting the trail for the Early Bird Tourney in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
In all, the Lady Panthers will play 16 regular-season games and participate in four tournaments during the season to prepare for the District 11AA Tourney that will be held on October 3-5 at Macon County High School.
Portland will honor their seniors on September 28 against Bowling Green High School with recognition beginning at 5 p.m. The team will also host an Alumni Recognition on the same day following the senior night match against Bowling Green.