Red Bank Rebounds To Beat East Hamilton In 6-AA Volleyball

Ansley Helton Tournament MVP As Lionettes Prevail, 3-1

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - by John Hunt

East Hamilton and Red Bank have developed quite a rivalry in volleyball as they always seem to bring out the best in each other.

These two had split two earlier matches this fall with Red Bank winning the last one in a tight 3-2 battle.

They faced each other on Thursday evening for the championship of District 6-AA at Hixson and for the second-straight year, the Lionettes came out on top, 3-1.

East Hamilton won the first one by 25-13 before Red Bank won the last three by scores of 25-23, 25-13 and 25-20.

East Hamilton coach Kristy Lenoir admitted before the match ever began that her team had really been through some tough times in recent weeks with some devastating internal issues, but have somehow rallied to reach Thursday night's championship match with a berth in next week's regional already secure.

The Lady Hurricanes came out in the first set and played like champions.  Every ball they hit was on target and every serve hit its spot.  Everything that could have gone right for East Hamilton did and everything that could possibly go wrong for Red Bank did as well.

East Hamilton won that first set with relative ease, but things slowly began to change in Red Bank's favor.

The Lionettes led from the first serve of the second set and were in total control when a block by Caitlyn Jenkins gave Red Bank a seemingly-comfortable 24-18 lead.

The Lady Hurricanes rallied to score the next five points, but Savannah Nelson saved the day for the Lionettes with a kill on set-point.

Red Bank got more aggressive up front in the third set as 15 points were scored on kills with Nelson getting five and Allison Walker, Shelby Hayes and Jenkins three each.  Walker had the last two to secure the 25-13 victory.

The momentum swung East Hamilton's way at the start of the fourth set with the Lady Hurricanes leading 8-3 and later 13-6 before Red Bank started its comeback.

A kill by Nelson knotted the score at 15 before a couple of East Hamilton mistakes gave Red Bank its first lead at 17-15.  A kill by East Hamilton's Kennedy Fager tied the score again at 18-all, but Red Bank then scored seven of the final nine points to win the match, including another kill by Nelson on match point.

"I'm very happy and extremely proud of these girls," said Red Bank coach Kristel Brooks after her team had improved to 36-8 overall.

"We got off to a rocky start as we were tense and nervous and tight.  Nothing seemed to go right, but we refocused in the huddle.  I told them they had won 35 matches for a reason and that's when we started to turn things around.

"We had to believe in ourselves, but they got that fire back in their eyes.  They had been keying on Savannah, so we had some other girls who stepped up.  We were able to regain ball control and started playing smarter after that," Brooks added.

The Lady Hurricanes are now 30-18 following Thursday's match.  Coach Lenoir is just happy and relieved they are still playing.

"We played a great first game as we were awesome, but we relaxed and made too many errors after that.  Red Bank buckled down and won that second game.  They took off from there," Lenoir began.

"We've struggled the last couple of weeks, but I feel like it's a major accomplishment that we're even still playing.  I'm not happy from beginning to end today, but we'll take a couple of days off and see what happens next week," Lenoir nodded.

Hayes finished with 13 kills to lead Red Bank's attack up front while Nelson, Helton and Walker all followed with 10 each.

Abby Graham had 36 assists while Hayes also had 24 digs.  Helton and Autumn Babb both finished with 20 digs each.

Helton's play earned her the MVP for the tournament.

Emma Lenoir was the most consistent player for East Hamilton as she finished with 14 kills, 18 assists, nine digs and four blocks.

Kylie Scruggs finished with 10 kills and 11 digs for the Lady Hurricanes while teammates Morgan Phillips had 14 digs and Sydney Harris 16 assists.

Both teams return to action in the Region 3-AA tournament, which will be held at Red Bank's Susan Ingram Thurman Gymnasium on Tuesday.

Red Bank faces McMinn Central in the first match at 4:30 while East Hamilton tackles Polk County immediately afterward.  The two winners then play for the championship around 7:30.

DISTRICT 6-AA ALL-TOURNAMENT: Abby Graham, Shelby Hayes, Savannah Nelson, Ansley Helton-MVP (Red Bank); Emily Clemmons, Briley Considine, Emma Lenoir, Kylie Scruggs (East Hamilton); Kennady Thomason, Chance Davis (Hixson); Tiffani Estep, Taylor Williamson (Central). 

EAST HAMILTON STATS:

Kylie Scruggs -- 10 kills, 11 digs, 1 ace;

Emma Lenoir -- 14 kills, 4 blocks, 9 digs, 18 assists;

Morgan Phillips -- 14 digs, 3 kills;

Emily Clemmons -- 9 digs;

Sydney Harris -- 16 assists, 9 digs;

Kennedy Fager -- 8 kills, 1.5 blocks;

Briley Considine -- 3 kills, 2 blocks, 3 aces;

Meredith Stott -- 3 blocks, 2 kills.

RED BANK STATS:

Savannah Nelson -- 10 kills, 5 blocks, 2 digs;

Ansley Helton -- 10 kills, 1 block, 20 digs;

Shelby Hayes -- 13 kills, 24 digs, 3 aces;

Abby Graham -- 2 kills, 36 assists, 13 digs;

Autumn Babb -- 20 digs;

Allison Walker -- 10 kills, 3 assists;

Hannah Wilson -- 12 digs;

Caitlyn Jenkins -- 3 kills 3 digs.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Lookouts Expected To Announce New Affiliation At Wed. Press Conference

The Chattanooga Lookouts have notified the area media that they will be holding a press conference at AT&T Field "for a major announcement regarding the upcoming 2015 season." That announcement is expected to be that the Minnesota Twins have signed a contract with the Lookouts for a two-year affiliation with Chattanooga.   (click for more)

Randy Smith: SEC Weekly Picks: Week 4

I had another great week, even picking a couple of upsets. (South Carolina over Georgia and Arkansas over Texas Tech.) This week, the SEC features a light schedule with just eight games on the card, but among those eight games are a few good ones. Last week: 10-1 Year to date: 29-4 Idle this week: Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss. Auburn at Kansas State: ( Thursday ... (click for more)

Sewell Says City, EPB "Close" On Amount Owed By Utility To City On Street Light Overbilling

City Internal Auditor Stan Sewell told City Council members on Tuesday that EPB and the city are "close" on the amount owed by the utility to the city on street light overbilling. Mr. Sewell said the city computed the amount at about $1.2 million, while he said EPB's auditing firm, Mauldin and Jenkins, has it at $1.5 million for an 89-month period that was audited. Mr. Sewell ... (click for more)

City Council Votes 5-4 On New Process For Naming IDB Members

The City Council voted Tuesday night 5-4 to set up a new process for naming members to the Industrial Development Board (IDB), which currently has four vacancies. The process includes three City Council panels: A (Districts 1, 2, 3), B (Districts 4, 5, 6), and C (Districts 7, 8, 9). Group A will fill two of the vacancies and Groups B and C one each. Agreement ... (click for more)

Why So Much For A Rail Study?

From the things that make you go hmm department. Ok, so the feds are giving us $400k and the city is kicking in another $300k for a total of $700k to do a study on having in town rail service. Why so much for a study? Don't get me wrong, I'm totally down with Chattanooga having some passenger trains running around. I get that. It's awesome. We've needed it for a long time. I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I’m Certainly No Expert

Sometime on Monday night, after I had written a piece on getting swatted with a switch as a kid, I got an email from ESPN Canada asking if I would be a televised guest on “Off the Record,” the most watched daily sports show in Canada. The subject: corporal punishment in America. Are you kidding me? I am hardly an expert. All weekend my world of sports and its excitement was warped ... (click for more)