Signal Mountain Stays Alive With Comeback Win Over Dyersburg

Lady Eagles To Play East Hamilton In First Match Wednesday

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - by John Hunt
Signal Mountain's Maia Rackel (10) slams home a kill shot against Knox catholic in a state tournament match played Tuesday afternoon at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The Lady Eagles dropped the match 3-0, but came back to win a loser's bracket match over Dyersburg by 3-0.  Signal Mountain now faces East Hamilton at 11:30 (CST) Wednesday at MTSU's Murphy Center.
Signal Mountain's Maia Rackel (10) slams home a kill shot against Knox catholic in a state tournament match played Tuesday afternoon at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The Lady Eagles dropped the match 3-0, but came back to win a loser's bracket match over Dyersburg by 3-0. Signal Mountain now faces East Hamilton at 11:30 (CST) Wednesday at MTSU's Murphy Center.
- photo by Dennis Norwood

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – For whatever reason, the Signal Mountain volleyball team likes to take the toughest road when it comes to the state volleyball tournament.

Last year, the Lady Eagles lost to Knoxville Catholic in the first round of the TSSAA Class AA tournament before battling back through the loser’s bracket to face that same Catholic team in the finals.  Signal Mountain finished as the runner-up.

It was almost an instant replay here at Siegel High School on Tuesday afternoon as the Lady Eagles once more got swept by the Lady Fighting Irish, falling in three straight by scores 26-24, 25-18 and 25-21.

Facing a lose-and-go-home situation in their second match on Tuesday, the Lady Eagles didn’t let the big one get away as they rallied with a 3-0 win over Dyersburg, winning by scores of 25-18, 25-18 and 25-19.

Bailee Barrett, an assistant to Jennifer Redman last fall who is now the head coach after Redman resigned, couldn’t pinpoint an explanation as to why her girls respond the way they do in such a critical situation.

“I guess we just like to take the tough road. Maybe facing a match where you lose and go home makes a difference,” she said after her girls had improved to 42-8 for the season.

“I thought we played much better in the first two sets tonight, but Dyersburg played great defense and they were sending balls our way we just weren’t ready for.  I think maybe we let our guard down and might have gotten a little overconfident, but we were able to overcome that lull to pull it out,” she continued.

And what about Wednesday’s first match with East Hamilton?

“We figured we’d see them at some point.  Tomorrow will be a tough day any way you look at it, so I guess it’s better that we face them in our first match.  We lost to them 2-1 in a tournament but beat them 3-1 at our place.  They are a very physical team, but I think we match up with them pretty well,” Barrett added.

The Lady Eagles basically played the way they normally do as they won the first two sets without a whole lot of difficulty.

The third set was a totally different matter.

A pair of aces to start the set from Shelby Hopper allowed the Lady Trojans to grab a 2-0 lead before the Lady Eagles scored seven of the next eight points for a 7-3 lead following kill from Maia Rackel.

Another kill from Megan Kincer extended the difference to 8-5 before Dyersburg started a long run where they scored eight unanswered points, seven of them coming on serves from Emma Boatright.

Barrett called a timeout when it was 12-8 and Dyersburg scored one more point following the brief break before the Lady Eagles got back on track.

Dyerburg’s lead was 15-10 when Cora Hansen recorded a kill while three straight aces from Olivia Powers and a block from Hansen knotted the score at 15-15.

After the two teams traded points, Francie Hunt knocked down five straight service points to give the Lady Eagles a 21-16 lead.  Dyersburg then got back within two at 21-19 before Rackel finished the match with two kills and a block to keep the Lady Eagles alive.

Rackel finished with 14 kills to lead Signal Mountain while Powers was outstanding as well with 17 digs, six kills and six aces.  Kate Barry was also a factor with 35 assists and 10 digs.

Wednesday’s match with East Hamilton is set for 12:30 Chattanooga time at MTSU’s Murphy Center.

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN STATS VS. DYERSBURG:

Kate Barry – 1 ace, 3 kills, 35 assists, 10 digs

Cora Hansen – 2 blocks, 8 kills, 4 digs

Alexia Hensley – 1 ace, 9 digs

Francie Hunt – 1 ace, 6 digs

Megan Kincer – 2 blocks, 3 kills, 1 dig

Mackenzie Lewis – 4 kills, 6 digs

Briley Lowry – 1 ace, 6 digs

Olivia Powers – 6 aces, 1 block, 6 kills, 17 digs

Maia Rackel – 4 blocks, 14 kills, 7 digs.

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN STATS VS. KNOX CATHOLIC:

Kate Barry – 25 assists, 12 digs

Cora Hansen – 6 kills, 4 blocks

Alexia Hensley – 2 digs, 1 ace

Francie Hunt – 8 digs

Megan Kincer – 1 dig, 1 kill

Mackenzie Lewis – 3 kills, 2 digs, 1 block

Briley Lowry – 3 aces, 9 digs

Olivia Powers – 9 kills, 3 digs, 1 block

Maia Rackel – 2 aces, 9 kills, 18 digs.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)

Signal Mountain's Olivia Power goes high to block a shot by Knox Catholic.
Signal Mountain's Olivia Power goes high to block a shot by Knox Catholic.
- Photo2 by Dennis Norwood

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