The Sale Creek Lady Panthers just love playing volleyball in the friendly confines of their own McEwen Gymnasium.
They really like it when they're hosting the District 6-A tournament, which they've done this week.
The Lady Panthers barely broke a sweat in Tuesday's first semifinal, a 3-0 win over South Pittsburg by scores of 25-7, 25-14 and 25-15.
Lookout Valley had to work a whole lot harder in their semifinal match against a much-improved Whitwell team, winning 3-1 by scores of 21-25, 25-23, 25-9 and 28-26.
The Lady Jackets didn't have much left in their gas tank after that win and it showed as Sale Creek won in three straight by scores of 25-13, 25-15 and 25-8.
Sale Creek improved to 31-14 with Tuesday's two wins.
Coach Debbie Hill knows that a second straight 6-A tournament title is nice, but there's work yet to be done if the Lady Panthers hope to equal last year's team that won district, region and sectional titles before finishing third in the state.
"I thought we played pretty consistent volleyball today as we hit and passed well," Hill said.
"This is our fourth time to play Lookout Valley this year, so we know them pretty well. I was expecting a closer match, but I'm sure it hurt them that one of their better players Annie Marr didn't play because of back problems.
"Even though we'd beaten them three times already, we didn't want to take them for granted, but they had played us much closer matches than the one tonight. We just need to maintain our focus as we're right where we want to be at this point. We're playing with a lot of confidence," Hill added.
Lookout Valley coach Pat Conard felt like her team didn't have much to offer after such a tough win over Whitwell in the semis.
"We played horrible in that last match. We didn't give them the battle we should have, but we played our hearts out to get to the championship match and we were just spent. Sale Creek has a tremendous team, but we're just happy to be going to the region," the coach added after her team fell to 13-12 overall.
Sale Creek's Erin Hill had 22 kills, 11 digs, three aces and three blocks to easily earn tournament MVP honors.
Teammate Krissy Hodge, who coach Hill said "has really come on in recent matches," had 10 kills and 13 digs and was also honored on the all-tournament team.
Megan Storey and Brooke Welch were other honorees for Sale Creek.
Hayley McBee, BriAnna Workman and Savannah Walker were all-tournament picks for Lookout Valley.
McBee had six digs and two kills while Workman had 11 digs and four kills. Walker finished with four digs and one kill. Workman and Walker also had an ace apiece.
The other all-tournament picks included Kelsea Wilson of South Pittsburg and Tanika Gholston of Whitwell.
LOOKOUT VALLEY STATS:
Hayley McBee -- 6 digs, 2 kills;
BriAnna Workman -- 11 digs, 4 kills, 1 ace;
Savannah Walker -- 4 digs, 1 kill, 1 ace.
SALE CREEK STATS:
Sam Wilkinson -- 1 kill;
Erin Hill -- 22 kills, 11 digs, 3 aces, 3 blocks;
Miranda Barnette -- 1 ace;
Krissy Hodge -- 10 kills, 13 digs, 1 ace;
Regan Garrett -- 5 digs;
Mikayla Crowder -- 1 kill, 1 block;
Megan Storey -- 7 digs, 27 assists, 4 aces;
Brooke Welch -- 8 digs, 4 aces.
(email John Hunt at email@example.com)
"We had a good weekend in Franklin at the Middle Tennessee Classic as we played well against some bigger schools, but that's what we need to get ready for these next few weeks.