Signal Mountain Claims District 7-AA Volleyball Title

Lady Eagles Will Host Region Tournament Next Tuesday

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - by Jaime Barrett
The last time Signal Mountain and Notre Dame met in a District 7-AA volleyball match, the Lady Irish won in four sets -- and Lady Eagles coach Jennifer Redman said her team was fortunate just to extend the match that far.

That left Redman a little uncertain about how her team might come out when the two met again Tuesday night in the district championship, but top-seeded Signal Mountain quickly put any doubts to rest.

The Lady Eagles pulled away midway through each set to claim a 25-16, 25-14, 25-17 victory that not only gives them the 7-AA title but also the right to host the Region 4 tournament next Tuesday.


“I was wondering if we were going to play 100-percent tonight, and we did,” Redman said. “Other than our serving, I feel like we did a very good job. I think we limited our mistakes, and we also got more touches on their swings.

“I was very pleased. I could tell they were ready to play. They were talking; they were cheering; they were engaged and excited. I’m proud of them.”

Signal Mountain opened play at home Tuesday with a 25-10, 25-10, 25-12 victory over Bledsoe County. The Lady Eagles had claimed the No. 1 seeding in a highly competitive district after Chattanooga Christian defeated Notre Dame last Thursday.

That put CCS at No. 2 and Notre Dame at No. 3, and set up the teams’ rematch in the other semifinal Tuesday. The Lady Chargers won 3-0 last week and took the first tournament set, 25-14, but this time the Lady Irish fought back.

Notre Dame won the second set 25-20 before dropping the third by a 25-21 margin. The Lady Irish then raced to a 25-15 fourth-set victory, and pulled away to take the fifth, 15-8, and earn a spot in the championship match.

“We had a lot of unforced errors against CCS last Thursday, but we cleaned it up quite a bit tonight,” Notre Dame coach Ted Hackett said. “Our passing was better than in last week’s match, and I just think we had the desire to win tonight.”

The Lady Irish hung with Signal Mountain until about the midway point of each championship set, but a dominant performance by the Lady Eagles’ Taelor Kellum proved to be too much to overcome. After recording 18 kills in the win over Bledsoe County, Kellum then contributed 15 against Notre Dame.

With Amanda Thielges providing 21 assists and Kennady Collick leading the defense with 11 digs, Signal Mountain secured the 3-0 win, their 30th of the season.

“This means a lot,” Redman said. “We’ve been talking all season about steps we need to take and what our ultimate goal is. Winning district was one of those steps. We had some key seniors quit on us right at the beginning of the season, but this group has really come together and their hard work has paid off so far.”

Signal Mountain (30-19) will face the District 8-AA runner-up in next Tuesday’s Region 4 semifinals, while Notre Dame (14-20) will take on the 8-AA champion. Those semifinal winners will move on to the region final, in addition to securing a spot in the Class AA state sectionals.

“We’re proud to be moving on,” Hackett said. “They played very well tonight.  I think that first match took a lot out of us, physically and emotionally, but that’s no excuse. Signal Mountain is a very good team, and all the credit goes to them. We just didn’t play up to our standards.”

(E-mail Jaime Barrett at jaimenbarrett@gmail.com)

District 7-AA tournament at Signal Mountain

Semifinals:


Signal Mountain 3, Bledsoe County 0

Signal Mountain stats:  Aryn Sanders 1 ace, 15 digs; Kennady Collick 5 kills, 8 digs; Aubrie Johnson 3 kills, 2 digs;  Kira Carlton 2 kills, 5 digs; Taelor Kellum 2 aces, 18 kills, 1 block; Hallie Hunt 2 digs; Amanda Thielges 30 assists, 6 digs; Carolynn Thielges 5 digs.

Notre Dame 3, Chattanooga Christian 2

Notre Dame stats:
Khadejah Sivels 2 aces, 10 digs; Ragen Dobson 2 aces, 1 kill, 38 assists, 14 digs, 1 block; Keri Klassen 12 digs, 1 ace, 1 kill; Randi Clement 18 kills, 2 digs, 3 blocks; Tess Scobey 2 kills, 1 block, 1 dig; Mallory Hein 1 ace, 6 kills, 3 blocks, 7 digs; Danika Dorris 1 ace, 1 kill, 25 digs; Kayle Stone 10 kills, 1 block; Stephanie Bouchard 2 aces, 14 kills, 20 digs, 3 blocks, 1 ace.

Championship:

Signal Mountain 3, Notre Dame 0

Signal Mountain stats:
Aryn Sanders 9 digs; Kennady Collick 4 kills, 11 digs; Aubrie Johnson 2 kills, 2 blocks; Taelor Kellum 2 aces, 15 kills, 5 digs, 4 blocks; Hallie Hunt 1 kill, 1 block, 8 digs; Amanda Thielges 3 aces, 1 kill, 21 assists, 5 digs; Carolyn Thielges 6 digs.

Notre Dame stats: Ragen Dobson 1 ace, 17 assists, 8 digs; Mallory Hein 2 kills, 1 dig; Danika Dorris 16 digs; Genna Howard 3 kills; Kayle Stone 8 kills, 1 block, 1 dig; Stephanie Bouchard 2 aces, 3 kills, 1 block, 11 digs.


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