It was almost like an instant replay from 2011 in the Region 3-AA volleyball tournament.
Red Bank beat East Hamilton for the district title a year ago before the Lady Hurricanes got even with a victory in the Region 3-AA tournament at Red Bank.
The Lady Hurricanes did the same thing Tuesday night, losing the first set before reeling off three straight wins for their second Region 3-AA title in only their fourth year of prep competition.
East Hamilton had a 23-19 lead in the first set before Red Bank scored six unanswered points to pull out the 25-23 victory.
The Lionettes played well in spurts after that, but the Lady Hurricanes pretty much dominated as they won the last three sets by scores of 25-19, 25-17 and 25-16.
Both teams had cakewalked into the finals as East Hamilton beat Polk County by scores of 25-14, 25-13 and 25-13 while Red Bank had an even easier time eliminating McMinn Central by scores of 25-2, 25-13 and 25-8.
East Hamilton will be at home on Thursday to host a sectional match against Notre Dame while Red Bank will be on the road, going up the hill to face Region 4-AA champ Signal Mountain.
It's been a real roller-coaster ride for coach Kristy Lenoir and her Lady Hurricanes in recent weeks, but after hitting a real low point two weeks ago, the Lady Hurricanes appear to have the worst behind them.
If they were planning to pick a great time to play their best match of the year, Tuesday night was a pretty good choice.
"We played solid volleyball from beginning to end as we had a lot of different people step up. We went to the bottom of the barrel two weeks ago, but I feel like we showed a lot of character to come out and play like we did tonight," Lenoir said as they Susan Ingram Thurman Gymnasium was almost empty and very quiet later.
"We've worked hard in practice and we've tried to stay positive during this entire time, but they really wanted to win tonight. They knew they were capable, but this means that we play at home on Thursday and we're just one win away from Murfreesboro.
"We're sick of losing to Red Bank. We beat them here last year, so we knew we could do it. We were riding high emotionally the entire match. You know, I've coached a lot of volleyball and I've played a lot too, but I've never been any more proud of a team than I am of this one tonight," she added.
Red Bank coach Christel Brooks certainly didn't offer any excuses for the way her team played. If anything, she's hoping to use Tuesday's match as a stepping stone for the rest of the season.
"We're split four matches with them this year, but just like last year, we won the district and they won the region. Everything seemed to be clicking at the end of the first set as things were going our way, but we weren't very consistent after that," Brooks said.
"East Hamilton came out strong and were hard to stop as we didn't have an answer. They have a great team and it seems like we always bring out the best in each other. I just hope we can use this experience to get us going for the rest of the season," she concluded.
Freshman Emma Lenoir, the coaches' daughter, had one of her best matches and finished with 22 kills and 26 assists while also adding a half-dozen digs and one block. She was named the tournament MVP for her effort.
Sydney Harris had 21 assists while Kylie Scruggs had 15 kills. Emily Clemmons and Morgan Phillips had 25 and 17 digs, respectively.
Shelby Hayes was the leader for Red Bank with 19 kills and 16 digs while Autumn Babb had 26 digs and Abby Graham 41 assists. Savannah Nelson finished with 16 kills.
East Hamilton is now 32-18 while Red Bank is now 37-8.
REGION 3-AA ALL-TOURNAMENT SELECTIONS: Emily Wilson (Polk Co.); Shelby Hayes, Ansley Helton, Savannah Nelson (Red Bank); Briley Considine, Morgan Phillips, Sydney Harris, Kylie Scruggs, Emma Lenoir -- MVP (East Hamilton).
EAST HAMILTON STATS:
Kylie Scruggs -- 8 digs, 15 kills, 1 ace, 2 blocks;
Emma Lenoir -- 22 kills, 26 assists, 6 digs, 1 block;
Morgan Phillips -- 17 digs, 6 kills;
Emily Clemmons -- 25 digs, 4 aces;
Sydney Harris -- 21 assists, 3 aces, 10 digs;
Kennedy Fager -- 2 blocks, 9 kills, 4 digs;
Briley Considine -- 5 aces, 4 digs, 2 kills, 3 blocks;
Meredith Stott -- 4 blocks, 1 kill.
RED BANK STATS:
Savannah Nelson -- 16 kills, 2 blocks;
Ansley Helton -- 5 kills, 1 block, 2 aces, 12 digs;
Shelby Hayes -- 16 digs, 19 kills;
Abby Graham -- 41 assists, 11 digs;
Autumn Babb -- 26 digs;
Allison Walker -- 4 kills;
Hannah Wilson -- 16 digs;
Caitlyn Jenkins -- 1 kill.
(email John Hunt at email@example.com)