Boyd-Buchanan sophomore Asia Kirkman has a unique way of preparing for volleyball matches.
She watches volleyball on her iPad.
"She'll pull up YouTube and watch college or Olympic volleyball highlights," Boyd-Buchanan coach Ashley Rose said. "She'll just be in the gym and pull them up."
Kirkman had plenty of her own highlights Monday in leading the Lady Bucs to a 3-1 win over Sale Creek in the Region 3-A championship match. The set scores were 25-20, 17-25, 26-24, 25-15.
Kirkman's 23 kills and seven digs earned her the tournament most outstanding player award.
"That's the best I've seen her on offense and defense," Rose said. "She did both tonight."
She scored four of the Lady Bucs' last five points in the pivotal third setr. She scored on a tip and on a block and closed the game with back-to-back kills after Boyd-Buchanan trailed the swing set 23-20.
"I watch volleyball all the time. I like Texas and Nebraska and I really want to go to Texas," Kirkman said. "I'll see a really good play and I'll want to do it, and it forces my mind to do it.
"We worked really well together today."
Boyd-Buchanan advanced to the final match by sweeping Lookout Valley 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-15). Sale Creek dispatched Arts & Sciences 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-17).
Kirkman closed out the first set of the championship match with three straight kills. Sale Creek won set two after pulling ahead 22-13. The third set went back and forth with seven lead changes and a tie at 24.
"They dug everything we hit," Sale Creek coach Debbie Hill said. "Then we got frustrated because we couldn't put anything away."
Boyd-Buchanan junior libero Katie Delay made 69 digs in four sets. Sarah Keller added 20 digs and Kristen Reynolds made 16.
The Lady Bucs earned a home match on Thursday in a sectional, while the Lady Panthers will travel.
"The key to winning this time was heart," Rose said. "Half of our team has been to state, and the ones who have gone have done a great job of explaining the need to play from beginning to end. Tonight we went from beginning to end and finished strong.
"That last gamewas very validating."
Contact David Uchiyama at email@example.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...