The Red Bank Lionettes may not have the best overall record for volleyball teams in the Chattanooga area, but they are the best in District 6-AA and they claimed the number-one seed in next week's tournament after beating East Ridge on Tuesday evening.
Red Bank is now 14-18 overall, but more importantly, 6-0 in 6-AA after the 3-1 win over the host Lady Pioneers in their Catherine Neely Gymnasium.
Red Bank won the first set by a 25-19 score before East Ridge got even with a 25-20 victory.
The Lionettes then took charge and won the next two by scores of 25-13 and 25-19.
"That was a fun match. This win gives us the number-one seed in the district tournament, which means that our first goal has been met," said Red Bank coach Mandi Munn after her team had beaten the Lady Pioneers for the 11th straight time in district play.
"Our hard work is starting to pay off, but I'm really pleased with how well we played today. We started off in a hole in the second set and simply couldn't come back, but our focus was to stay undefeated in 6-AA and that's what we did," Munn added with a smile.
East Ridge had a 15-14 lead in the first set before the Lionettes tied it on a kill by Dani Usher.
It stayed close until Caitlyn Jenkins recorded back-to-back kills for a 22-19 Red Bank lead while Rachel Thornbury served the next three points for the win.
East Ridge raced to an 8-4 lead in the second set, only to watch as Red Bank bounced back with eight of the next nine points for a 13-12 lead.
With Michelle Hughes and Hannah Eldridge recording kills, East Ridge built a 21-17 lead and finished things off with consecutive kills from Rickell Hill, Rabbit Lawrence and Eldridge.
Red Bank got six straight service points from Abby Graham as the Lionettes built a 7-0 before East Ridge scored.
Jenkins had four straight service points in the middle of the set as Red Bank kept the pressure on and ended up with its biggest lead on set point.
Hughes had the hot hand for East Ridge with four straight service points in the fourth set as the Lady Pioneers jumped out to a 7-3 lead.
Red Bank finally knotted the score at 12-all and the Lionettes then scored 13 of the final 19 points to claim the match.
East Ridge coach Catherine Neely has watched her girls on a roller coaster ride this season. Even though Tuesday's loss left them with a 3-3 district record, the veteran coach was pretty much pleased with what she saw.
"It was nice to see my girls come out and play hard, but it was a close match and a fun one to watch," Neely said after the gym had cleared.
"I thought we kept our composure for the most part, but we made some critical mistakes when we shouldn't have that cost us. We took charge at the net in the second set and that was the key there, but we played well for the most part. We just didn't win, but we don't have anything to be ashamed of," she added.
Abby Graham may have been Red Bank's busiest player as she finished the match with 21 assists to go along with eight kills, 13 digs, a pair of aces and a block.
Autumn Babb had 28 digs whhile Jenkins was the leader with 11 kills. Usher was tops with four blocks.
Eldridge was the leader for East Ridge with 38 digs in addition to 18 kills and two blocks.
Rabbit Lawrence finished with a triple-double, including 27 assists, 12 digs and 11 kills while Rickell Hill had 19 digs.
Red Bank's regular season is now over while East Ridge will travel up Highway 27 on Thursday for a match at Sale Creek.
The District 6-AA tournament starts on Tuesday at Red Bank.
RED BANK STATS:
Abby Graham -- 8 kills, 1 block, 13 digs, 21 assists, 2 aces;
Kiki Adkins -- 12 digs, 3 aces;
Autumn Babb -- 28 digs;
Caitlyn Jenkins -- 11 kills, 11 digs, 1 ace;
Ally Walker -- 4 kills, 4 digs;
Rachel Thornbury -- 11 digs, 13 assists, 3 aces;
Dani Usher -- 6 kills, 4 blocks;
Jasmine Simpson -- 6 kills, 2 blocks;
Marjorie Smith -- 6 kills, 1 block, 1 ace, 7 digs.
EAST RIDGE STATS:
Rickell Hill -- 1 ace, 1 kill, 19 digs;
De'Jha Billingsley -- 4 kills, 2 blocks;
Tamara Sandridge -- 7 digs;
Ieashia Taylor -- 8 kills, 1 block, 1 ace, 10 digs;
Rabbit Lawrence -- 11 kills, 27 assists, 2 blocks, 12 digs;
Katie Gadd -- 6 digs;
Michelle Hughes -- 7 kills, 3 blocks, 4 aces;
Hannah Eldridge -- 18 kills, 2 blocks, 38 digs.
(email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)