Coach Lorri Johnson has watched a steady climb in the quality of play for her Soddy Daisy volleyball team, but she wasn't very happy after losing decisively at Baylor on Monday.
The Lady Trojans had a chance to get back on track at Hixson Tuesday evening in their annual "Pink Out" match which benefits breast cancer awareness.
Johnson had fire in her eyes early in the first set on Tuesday when a 13-5 lead suddenly became 13-10.
The veteran Soddy Daisy coach called a timeout and had a few choice words with her girls.
The gist of her message will never be known, but whatever was said must have hit home as the Lady Trojans came out and dominated play the rest of the way.
Improving to 30-18 overall, Soddy Daisy went on to win that first set by a 25-13 margin before putting the match away with two more decisive wins by scores of 25-9 and 25-12.
Sophomore libero Hannah Robertson, who had been feeling less than wonderful and was somewhat questionable for this match, may have been the key to victory. In addition to her 17 digs, she recorded 10 straight service points in the second set and seven more during one stretch in the third as the Lady Trojans scored almost at will during the latter stages of the match.
"I think we went back to square one after Monday's match at Baylor, but I was really happy with what I saw tonight," Johnson said as her girls were heading toward the parking lot after a brief post-match chat.
"I had a little motivational speech with them in that first set, but they responded and played with a lot of heart after that. A lot of my girls played for coach Tate in middle school and they wanted to play hard for her.
"Our matches with Hixson are normally very close, so I was surprised that we won in three straight. And I don't think that Hixson was expecting us to be so sky-high today.
"It was a nice crowd and a great atmosphere. I hope we raised a lot of money. Now we have to get ready for a big match at Walker Valley on Thursday," Johnson added.
Hixson coach Janet Tate has been on a roller-coaster ride with the Lady Wildcats all season. There are days when they play exceptionaly well and then there are days when it looks like they're new to the sport.
"We didn't come ready to play and I'm totally embarrassed by our performance," Tate began.
"We weren't ready and Soddy Daisy just took it to us. It's all about execution in this sport and we didn't have any. And it's not that we have a young team as we have five seniors. I know that we can play better than that," Tate added.
Alex Schafer had 13 kills and 20 digs to lead Soddy Daisy while Chloe Mitchell added 24 assists and 15 digs. Lauren Smith had a fine match with 17 digs and nine kills.
Chance Davis was the leader for Hixson, now 19-20, with 13 digs and a dozen assists while Ceria Taylor had four kills and a dozen digs. Jessica Green and Abigail Tipton both finished the day with 11 digs apiece.
Hixson's next match will be at home on Thursday against Tyner while Soddy Daisy goes to Walker Valley the same day.
CENTRAL'S LADY POUNDERS pinned a 2-0 defeat on visiting Silverdale Baptist Academy on Tuesday, winning by scores of 27-25 and 25-21.
Kerri Whittaker had 19 digs for the Lady Seahawks while Katelyn Couch had seven digs and eight assists. Teammate Mackenzie Harris finished with seven digs and five kills.
Silverdale is now 21-10 overall and will host Lookout Valley on Thursday.
SODDY DAISY STATS:
Rachel Hargis -- 1 kill, 26 digs;
Laura Jenkins -- 6 kills, 4 digs;
Alex Schafer -- 13 kills, 2 blocks, 20 digs;
Haley Reynolds -- 3 kills;
Karigan Fulghum -- 3 kills, 1 block, 1 assist, 1 dig;
Chloe Mitchell -- 3 kills, 24 assists, 15 digs;
Hannah Robertson -- 2 kills, 4 aces, 17 digs;
Lauren Smith -- 9 kills, 1 ace, 17 digs.
Chance Davis -- 2 kills, 12 assists, 13 digs;
Jessica Green -- 11 digs;
Ceria Taylor -- 4 kills, 12 digs;
Abigail Tipton -- 11 digs;
Paige Lawson -- 3 kills;
Tatyona Staten -- 2 kills.
Kerri Whittaker -- 19 digs;
Mackenzie Harris -- 7 digs, 5 kills;
Bryce Killingsworth -- 1 kill, 5 digs;
Molly Kane -- 2 kills, 2 blocks;
Hannah Mench -- 2 blocks;
Katelyn Couch -- 7 digs, 8 assists.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)