Boyd-Buchanan volleyball coach Ashley Rose wasn't sure if she was more nervous before Tuesday's Region 3-A championship match against Sale Creek or on her wedding day.
She seems to be happy with both results.
Her District 5 champion Lady Buccaneers defeated the District 6 champions 3-1 at Silverdale Baptist Academy. Set scores were 21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-20.
Boyd-Buchanan (29-13) is scheduled to host Jackson County on Thursday in a state sectional, but the school's gymnasium is booked that night for a middle school play. An alternate plan is expected to be decided today.
Sale Creek (32-15) will play 2011 state champion Friendship Christian at Lebanon at 8 p.m. EDT.
The former Ashley Scott, who married Boyd-Buchanan boys' basketball coach Cole Rose on Aug. 18, wasn't the only one on the Lady Bucs bench with some nervousness. The coach said she thought her players had some "first-game jitters," but they worked through them.
"I told them after the first game, 'If that's Sale Creek's best game, they're in trouble,'" she said. "I knew we hadn't played our best yet.
The second set was tied nine times, the last at 23. Then one of 12 kills by tournament most valuable player Mandi Jones, who also had 14 digs and two aces, and a Sale Creek shot into the net ended it.
The Lady Bucs led by five on three occasions in the third set before the Lady Panthers rallied and tied it at 21. It was tied again at 22, but again Boyd-Buchanan put together a quick closing run.
Rose called a timeout with her team down 10-5 in the fourth set. The Lady Bucs scored 10 of the next 11 points, leading to a Sale Creek timeout. The Lady Panthers got within 18-17 but trailed the rest of the way.
"We played well at times," Sale Creek coach Debbie Hill said. "We just didn't put it all together. They played extremely well. They hit the ball hard and kept us off balance on defense. They also played up some hard balls. Their defense was outstanding. They passed up balls that had been falling for us."
Jessica Kirk and Maddy Howard also had 12 kills each for the Lady Bucs, who Rose said were "the loudest we've been all year." Katie Delay was the digs leader with 37, and Kristen Reynolds had seven kills and 18 digs to go with her team-high 26 assists.
Despite facing a defensive scheme geared toward her, Erin Hill managed 24 kills to go with four blocks and 28 digs. Krissy Hodge contributed 14 kills and Megan Storey led with 32 assists.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.