Boyd-Buchanan and Silverdale Baptist Academy were seemingly on a collison course to meet in the District 5-A tournament championship match last high school volleyball season, but Arts & Sciences derailed those plans. The Lady Patriots had the opportunity again Monday, but the collision is destined to happen this time.
The Lady Buccaneers got off to a hot start and defeated CSAS 3-1 in the second semifinal at Silverdale. Set scores were 25-5, 25-19, 20-25, 25-14.
The host Lady Seahawks earlier beat Grace Academy 25-20, 25-20, 25-16. The Lady Golden Eagles had eliminated Copper Basin 3-0 in the opening match. Set scores were 25-10, 25-10, 25-8.
Boyd-Buchanan (26-13) and Silverdale (23-10) play for the championship today at Silverdale at 5 p.m. Both will advance to the Region 3 tournament next week. This is the first region berth in program history for the Lady Seahawks.
Boyd-Buchanan and Silverdale were co-champions of the regular season for the second consecutive year after splitting their meetings and winning the rest of their district matches. The Lady Seahawks ended up with the top seeding because they beat the Lady Bucs 3-1 after losing to them 3-2.
Last year it came down to points and Boyd-Buchanan wound up top-seeded. But thanks to CSAS upending the Lady Seahawks in a semifinal, a rematch didn't materialize.
"Here we go again," Silverdale coach Rhonda Hawkins said. "Our girls will be focused on just playing. We're happy to have the opportunity this time. We're very proud to be in the region, but these girls want more. We haven't done anything up to this point. Tomorrow is what counts."
Boyd-Buchanan coach Ashley Rose said she was pleased with the way her team was ready to play from the start Monday. The Lady Patriots had an 11-0 run from 8-8 in the third set, but Rose even found a positive from that.
"Our biggest thing is to be in the game and stay in the game," Rose said. "Tonight we played to the very end. Even in the third game we came back from 19-8 and nearly won. That was nice. Hopefully we'll be able to carry that over."
Maddy Howard led the Lady Bucs with 15 kills and Jessica Kirk had 12. Kristen Reynolds chipped in with nine kills and paced them with 23 assists and seven aces. Katie Delay led with 38 digs.
CSAS (10-6) got five kills and eight digs from Resnick Billen. Grace Vanderwerf had seven blocks and four aces for the Lady Patriots and Brittany Patmon set 10 assists.
"I'm proud of them," CSAS first-year coach Samantha Everett said. "They didn't come in here and lay down. We really, really started off slow, but they showed some heart and showed they wanted to be out here."
Silverdale's leaders were Mackenzie Harris with 10 kills, Katelyn Couch with 17 assists and Kerri Whittaker with 23 digs.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.