Signal Mountain, Silverdale Win Hixson Volleyball Titles

Lookout Valley, Sale Creek Both Second In 12-Team Tournament

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - by John Hunt

The Signal Mountain volleyball team had a pretty good day Saturday at Hixson, but so did teams from Lookout Valley, Silverdale and Sale Creek.

The Lady Eagles remained unbeaten after eight matches as they slipped past upset-minded Lookout Valley for first place in the Gold division in the annual Hixson Invitational.

The Lady Seahawks from Silverdale were winners in the Silver division as they came from behind to beat Sale Creek.

Signal Mountain, Red Bank and Lookout Valley all won their respective pools, but Signal Mountain beat Red Bank in the semifinals to earn the right to face Lookout Valley.

The Lady Eagles beat Red Bank by scores of 25-17 and 25-19 while Sale Creek beat Hixson in three sets to advance to the Silver finals.  Hixson won the first set by a 25-20 final before the Lady Panthers rallied for a 25-23 win in the second and a 15-11 win in the critical third.

Signal Mountain beat Lookout Valley, 2-1, with the Lady Eagles winning the first set by 25-13 and the Lady Jackets taking the second by 25-23.  Then in the third, Signal Mountain was able to rally to pull out the 16-14 victory.

Sale Creek won the first set against Silverdale by a 25-20 final before the Lady Seahawks won the next two by scores of 25-18 and 16-14.

Lookout Valley, improving to 6-1 overall including 3-1 on Saturday, played toe-to-toe with the much-taller Signal Mountain squad and even led 5-0 in the third set.

The Lady Eagles slowly came back and tied the score at 13-all on a kill by Taelor Kellum.  Another monster smash by the slender senior knotted the score at 14.  Then with her team holding a 15-14 advantage, Kellum put down the match winner to close the deal.

"That was too stressful to suit me," said Signal Mountain coach Jennifer Redman following that last win. 

"Lookout Valley played extremely well and they made us play.  We let up and started coasting and just got down too many points in the second set, but we hung in there and were able to pull it out.

"Taelor was absolutely awesome and I'm so glad that she's on my team, but it's been a long day and I'm happy to be headed home," she added.

Lookout Valley coach Pat Conard admitted before that final match that she was more surprised than anyone for her team to be in the championship match of the top division.  She was still pretty upbeat after finishing second.

"We had three bad serves in a row at the end and that hurt," she responded when asked about the one that got away at the end.

"I'm very pleased as we played with a lot of heart, but we have to learn that we must play aggressively the whole time.  We have a lot of jumpers on this team, but we're really vertically challenged," she concluded with a smile.

Kellum dominated play up front and finished with 19 kills to lead Signal Mountain while Aryn Sanders had 22 digs and Amanda Thielges had 25 assists.

Savannah Walker had five kills and seven digs to lead Lookout Valley while Katelyn Mitchell had four kills, eight digs, two aces and an assist.

Silverdale was 3-1 on Saturday with its only loss to Lookout Valley.  The Lady Seahawks were really thin on the bench with only one sub as one was sick, two were out of town and another had to leave early to attend her own birthday party.

Still, the Lady Seahawks played with a lot of heart and they pulled through when the odds were stacked against them.

"We finished okay, but it was a long day.  We had a four-hour break between our last two matches, but I'm proud of the way they stayed focused during the break," said Silverdale coach Nathan Daugherty.

"In all honesty, I would have rather been playing in the Gold division, but I'm glad we were able to win the Silver.  Kayleigh Page and Emma Dale are both freshmen who really played well while Molly Rumfelt and Caroline Couch were all over the place and hustled all day long," he added.

Sale Creek coach Debbie Hill could have been happier at the end.

"Inconsistency killed us.  We play like a million dollars one minute and 15 cents the next, but we can be as good as anybody else when we're on," Hill said afterward.

"We're still making the same mistakes we were making at the start and we need to play with a little bigt more enthusiasm, but we played not to lose and you can't do that in volleyball if you expect to be successful," she added.

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN STATS VS. LOOKOUT VALLEY

Aryn Sanders -- 22 digs

Kennedy Collick -- 4 kills, 7 digs

Aubrie Johnson -- 5 kills

Taelor Kellum -- 19 kills, 8 digs, 1 block

Hallie Hunt -- 2 kills, 12 digs

Sidney Lapinski -- 9 digs, 9 assists

Amanda Thielges -- 25 assists, 5 digs

Natalie Greve -- 9 digs.

LOOKOUT VALLEY STATS VS. SIGNAL MOUNTAIN

Savannah Walker -- 1 ace, 5 kills, 2.5 blocks, 1 assist, 7 digs

Brianna Evers -- 2 aces, 1 kill, 6 digs

Taylor Hoge -- 4 kills, 5 digs

Katelyn Mitchell --  2 aces, 4 kills, 1 assist, 8 digs

Annie Marr -- 1 kill, 15 assists, .5 block, 4 digs

Elexis Foster -- 3 kills, 1 block, 13 digs.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Dade Middle School Girls Win NGAC Championship

The Dade Middle School Lady Wolverines beat Ringgold Middle School 37-34 last Saturday to earn the 2016 NGAC girls basketball championship.  Tori Williams led the team with 12 points and was named MVP.  Meghan Schauer had nine points and Jayda Woods had five.   The team is coached by Regina Logan.   (click for more)

Lee University Hosts Events During Thursday's Doubleheader

A couple of major events are scheduled for Walker Arena on Thursday evening when the Lee University basketball teams host the University of West Alabama in a Gulf South Conference doubleheader beginning at 6 p.m.   The world famous Gym Masters from Southern Adventist University will be making their annual appearance at halftime of the men’s game. It is a great time to see ... (click for more)

WWTA, Grimes, Clem Lambasted At Boyd Public Forum

Over 50 people turned out Tuesday night on a meeting called by County Commissioner Tim Boyd over issues with the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA), and many took turns lambasting the agency, director Cleveland Grimes and attorney Chris Clem. Commissioner Boyd said at the end of the hour and a half session at the East Ridge Community Center, "If less ... (click for more)

City Facing Millions In Catchup Costs For Fire And Police Pension Fund

City Council members were told Tuesday they are facing millions of dollars in catchup costs for the fire and police pension fund. Pension fund officials said the city will need to invest some $1.6 million per year more with the fund to keep up with the latest state requirement. Frank Hamilton said the fund has been at a level of about 60 percent of obligations, but that needs ... (click for more)

Rick Smith Should Not Be Paid To Leave

Taxpayers of Hamilton County should take note that a majority of the members of the school board are getting ready to give Rick Smith the buyout that he wants.  Do you agree that someone should be paid for taking the coward's way out?  Rick Smith should be fired for cause. Not paid to leave.   If you don't want the board members to pay him off, call or ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Grab The Reaching Hand

Three of Tennessee’s largest four cities are now searching for school superintendents. Jesse Register retired last June and, after botching the first attempt, Nashville city leaders are intensely helping the Board of Education in a search for the best candidate. In Knoxville and Chattanooga the superintendents have resigned, both under a cloud, and now the leaders of the ‘2.0’ initiative ... (click for more)