Jennifer Redman is normally a happy person, one who has a smile on her face most of the time with a kind word for everyone she greets.
Such wasn't the case for the popular volleyball coach at Signal Mountain after a key District 7-AA setback at Chattanooga Christian Tuesday evening.
Redman pulled out all the tricks and she used every form of motivation that she knew, but nothing seemed to work as her Lady Eagles were more flat than the CCS gym floor in Tuesday's match.
The Lady Chargers were ready to play from the opening serve and it showed as they waltzed to 25-15 and 25-20 victories in the first two sets.
It appeared that the match would be over in a hurry as the Lady Chargers built a 21-14 lead before Redman called a final timeout.
Who knows what was said in the Signal Mountain huddle, but whatever it was must have worked as Kennady Collick reeled off 10 straight service points as the Lady Eagles rebounded for a 25-21 victory.
The momentum didn't stay on the Signal Mountain side very long as the Lady Chargers regrouped in a hurry for a convincing 25-14 win in the fourth and final set of the day.
CCS improved to 10-8 overall and more importantly 2-0 in 7-AA with the win. Signal Mountain is now 13-8 overall and 1-1 in 7-AA.
"That was our best match of the year so far," said an elated Chattanooga Christian coach Brian Wood after the match ended.
"All facets of our game seemed to be working well. Our passes were on and our setters did a great job of playing away from their blockers. We sort of lost our focus in that third set, but I just told my girls that they had to refocus and everything would be okay.
"It's all about confidence with these girls. I feel like we can beat anybody when we believe in ourselves. I'm really proud of these girls and the way they came together as a team today. We had the momentum and emotion in that final set and that made a big difference, but this is a huge district win and these girls knew that coming in," Wood added.
Redman had a perplexed look on her face when the final point had been scored. She's had better days and so has her team.
"I'm not at all happy right now," she began.
"I really don't know what the answer is. Some days we come out ready to play while on others, we don't. We've been playing together for the last 12 weeks, so being young is no longer an excuse.
"We just had a lack of mental toughness. We missed way too many serves and we didn't play defense like we're supposed to. Basically, it was a lack of heart on our part. We had beaten them twice already in tournaments, but Chattanooga Christian has a good team and they were ready to play today.
"We just didn't have any focus," she concluded.
Erin Jackson played extremely well for the Lady Chargers as she finished the day with 16 kills, 19 assists and five aces. Teammate Riley Visser added a dozen kills while Taylor Youell had 26 assists and Hannah Stewart three aces.
Taelor Kellum played well up front for Signal Mountain and finished with 14 kills and an ace. Amanda Thielges finished the day with 25 assists while Aryn Sanders was credited with 18 digs.
Aubrie Johnson had six kills and Collick two aces for the Lady Eagles.
Signal Mountain will be at home on Wednesday to host Hixson and Ooltewah while the Lady Chargers will be involved in a playday at Soddy Daisy on Saturday before going to Pikeville on Monday for a three-way meet with Sequatchie County and Bledsoe County.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)