Arts & Sciences' Lady Patriots may not have known it, but Boyd-Buchanan volleyball coach Ashley Rose implied that they taught her team a valuable lesson on Sept. 10.
The teams met again Wednesday at Boyd-Buchanan in the championship match of the District 5-A high school tournament and the Lady Buccaneers looked well-schooled in defeating CSAS 3-0. Set scores were 25-17, 25-20, 25-23.
Both teams will advance to Monday's Region 3 tournament at Sale Creek. CSAS (17-13) will play District 6 champion Sale Creek (30-15) at 4:30 p.m. Lookout Valley will take on Boyd-Buchanan (27-13) at 6 and the winners will play for the title at 7:30. Region finalists advance to the state-sectional round.
The Lady Bucs, who graduated the bulk of the talent that helped them finish second in the state tournament last year, won the first set when the teams met in early September, but CSAS took the next three.
"We lost a lot last year, so we have a lot of new people in there," Rose said. "That was the first time all year they knew they were going to have to work hard if they wanted to win.
"We've had a lot of ups and downs, and most haven't come as a surprise. When we don't work hard, we don't win. When we do work hard, we do win."
Boyd-Buchanan won the regular-season rematch 10 days later, albeit 3-2. Rose said she was as nervous as she's ever been as a player or coach before Wednesday's match. The Lady Patriots being loaded with seniors had something to do with it.
"They were not going to quit," Rose said. "That's why it was so close in that third set."
CSAS coach Samantha Everett called timeout after her team fell behind 5-0 to start the match, and the Lady Bucs added another point before the Lady Patriots scored. It was not the start the coach was looking for.
"We let the little things go," Everett said. "We weren't clean with our passing. We weren't clean with our serves. That's mainly why things didn't fall in place. We didn't take the time to do the little things."
Everett wasn't displeased with her team, especially coming off Tuesday's effort. CSAS won its semifinal 3-0 over Silverdale Baptist Academy, which it had beaten 3-2 at home on Sept. 3, but lost to 3-0 at Silverdale on Sept. 26.
"We had to fight to get into the region," Everett said. "This would've been sweet, too."
Tournament most valuable player Kristen Reynolds led the Lady Bucs with 13 kills and was second to Halie Williamson's 21 assists with 14. Sydney Spencer led with six aces and Katie Delay led with 39 digs.
The Lady Patriots got eight kills from Brooke Mitchell and three blocks from Rachel Bossong. Brianna Taylor's 24 digs and Ashley Boles' six assists were also team-highs.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.
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 email@example.com.