Hixson Nips Central In 6-AA Volleyball Thriller

Lady Wildcats Refuse To Lose With Stirring Comeback Against Lady Pounders

Thursday, September 5, 2013 - by John Hunt

The Hixson Lady Wildcat volleyball took a nice rollercoaster ride Thursday evening and they all got off at the end with smiles on their faces.

Actually, it was just a key District 6-AA match with rival Central at Hixson, but it was the Lady Wildcats who prevailed in a thriller that went five sets.

Hixson won the first game with relative ease by a score of 25-19 before the Lady Pounders rebounded with wins in the second and third games by scores of 25-18 and 25-21.

Things seemed to be going Central's way after a slow start, but oh, how the momentum can swing in a high school volleyball match.

Hixson broke away from a tie at 18-all for a 20-18 lead in the fourth set before Central coach Robin Moore called time.  Whatever was suggested during the break didn't unfold as planned as Ceria Taylor had three straight service points, including an ace, as Hixson pulled ahead by 23-18 before winning 25-20.

The Lady Pounders led for much of the fifth set, including the biggest margin of five points at 12-7.  Hixson rallied following a timeout to knot the score at 14 before it was tied again at 15.

Then with the match on the line, Abby Tipton had a kill and an ace as the Lady Wildcats pulled out the decisive fifth set by a score of 17-15.  Those were Tipton's only kill and ace of the entire match.

Hixson coach Janet Tate knew ahead of time that it would be a critical match for both teams.  Central had beaten Hixson in two different tournaments and may have had the edge coming in, but the Lady Wildcats came through with flying colors when the chips were on the line.

"We played extremely hard and we never quit," Tate said after her team had improved to 9-12 overall and 1-0 in 6-AA.

"Central's program is really coming on, but we really wanted to win this match and we thought that we could.  I think our maintaining our composure was the key as we never got too high or too low.

"We still have a way to go, but I think Central was number one in our coaches poll, so this is an especially big win for us," Tate concluded with a smile.

Central's Moore certainly wasn't her happiest after the match ended.

"We surely didn't play our best today as everything we tried to do was off.  This is my first year as their coach and I inherited a very talented team.  We have the potential to be really good, but we had 38 hitting errors today and that should tell you something," she shook her head.

"We should have the best team in this district, but we have to develop some mental toughness.  It seemed like today when we made a mistake, they just snowballed, but I hope we learned something from it.

"We had a slow start, but played Central volleyball in the second and third games.  Then for some unknown reason, we just sort of shut down.  We had some success early in the season and that may be part of our problem, but we just didn't play very well today," Moore concluded.

Tiffany Estep was a key contributor up front with 27 kills while Samantha Scott had 34 digs and Chasidy Ainslie had 20 assists.

Lexie Ainslie finished with 16 assists while Rebekah Hill had eight kills and 13 digs.  Estep also had five aces while Scott had four.

Paige Lawson was the leader for Hixson with 13 kills and nine digs.  She also had an ace and a block.

Tipton had 23 digs to go along with her ace and kill while Taylor finished the match with 22 digs, 14 assists, seven kills and three aces.  Jessica Green was credited with 11 digs while Morgan White had 15 digs, three kills and a pair of aces for the winners.

Central is now 15-6 overall and 1-1 in 6-AA.

Both teams return to action on Tuesday with home matches.  Central will host Signal Mountain while Hixson will entertain Lookout Valley.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Five Area Players Voted to TSWA All-State Boys Basketball Team

Five area players have been voted to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association boys all-state basketball team. Area players voted all-state were Bradley Central's Cole Copeland, Brainerd's Kentrell Evans and Dajuonta Ross, Central's Ryan Montgomery, and McCallie's Junior Clay. 2015-16 Tennessee Sports Writers Association Girls All-State Teams   Class AAA   ... (click for more)

Lookouts Rally, Then Falter In Ninth Falling To BayBears Thursday, 6-5

Chattanooga rallied from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game at five in the top of the eighth inning, but ultimately lost the game, 6-5, on a ninth inning walk-off home run from Ronnie Freeman. Freeman was a Lookouts killer all night, he was 2-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBIs. Starter David Hurlbut pitched three effective innings for Chattanooga before giving up ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke Pledges $6 Million For New Recreation Center At Avondale

Mayor Andy Berke announced Thursday that he plans to include $6 million in his upcoming budget for a new Recreation Center at Avondale. He said at a press conference at the current center on Dodson Avenue, "We want to make an investment in Avondale." Mayor Berke said the current center by Wilcox Boulevard was built in 1949 and last remodeled in 2002. The new center, which ... (click for more)

Developer Plans Single-Family Homes, Townhomes, Apartments, Retail On 7.5 Acres At South Broad Street

A developer is planning single-family homes, apartments, townhomes and retail on a 7.5-acre South Broad Street site. The development by South Broad LLC and DEW LLC is located within several blocks between South Broad Street, W. 26th Street, Long Street and W. 27th Street. It would include a 3-story U-shaped apartment building with ground floor retail at the north end of the ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Bad Ideas Never Work

When the Chattanooga City Council gave Kevin Muhammad, who is purportedly the “leader” of the Nation of Islam’s “Chattanooga chapter” or whatever it is, “the right” to speak for 20 anguished minutes on Monday night, everybody who heard about it could have told our city leaders it was “stinkin’ thinkin’.” My goodness, did you think he was going to read a sweet passage from the ... (click for more)