published Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Lady Bucs serve notice that they can play with best

Goodpasture recently became the owner of the TSSAA record for most consecutive victories in volleyball. And Friday in the 28th Choo Choo Classic, Boyd-Buchanan put an end to the Lady Cougars' streak at 85 matches.

The Lady Buccaneers played Goodpasture in pool play at Red Bank and won 18-25, 25-20, 16-14. The Lady Cougars, who broke the record held by Kirkman from 1976 to 1978, won the Class AA state title in 2012 and went 48-0 last year on the way to the Class A championship.

Asia Kirkman leads the hitting for the Lady Bucs, and fellow junior Sarah Emrey leads in blocks. Senior Kristen Reynolds is the team's assists leader, and classmate Katie DeLay paces Boyd-Buchanan in digs and aces.

The Lady Bucs are 10-8 overall and 1-0 in District 5-A with nine district games remaining. Should both progress that far, Boyd-Buchanan potentially could face Goodpasture again in a state sectional.

"We didn't make mistakes," Boyd-Buchanan coach Alfie Dodd said. "Our hitters played out of their minds. Defensively we didn't let anything touch the ground. We had no missed serves. All that.

"It was the first time all year we played like a team, like a family. We clicked. If we can do that all season, I believe we can hang with anybody we have to play."

Fundraisers abound

Ooltewah will be hosting Walker Valley at 6:15 p.m. Thursday in a District 5-AAA volleyball match that also will be the Lady Owls' ninth "Pink Out" breast-cancer-awareness fundraiser. Those teams will do another at Walker Valley on Sept. 23, and Ooltewah will host Cleveland in another on Oct. 2.

"We usually have ours when we play Walker Valley at home," said Elaine Peigen, a breast-cancer survivor whose first season heading Ooltewah's program was 1992. "It's much earlier in the season than usual, so we're going to do another when it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Cleveland. Walker Valley asked us to play in theirs, so we're also going to do their Pink Out match with them."

Ooltewah will donate its proceeds to the MaryEllen Locher Foundation scholarship fund. Elaine's daughter, Libby, who last year completed her eligibility as a Lee University player and now is an assistant coach at East Hamilton, benefited from that charity.

"Libby was a recipient from them," Elaine said. "We try to give back."

Other area volleyball programs are holding breast-cancer-awareness fundraisers this year. Lookout Valley is hosting Marion County in one next Tuesday, and Hixson is hosting Soddy-Daisy in one Sept. 24.

GPS, CCS peek ahead

The future of Chattanooga volleyball will be on display today when Chattanooga Christian's elementary school team takes on Brainerd Baptist at GPS. That match is set for 4 p.m., with the junior varsity match between CCS and GPS slated for 5 and the varsity match scheduled at 6.

GPS coach Paul Brock said the idea of holding a youth matchup before the high school matches occurred in the summer when Brainerd Baptist, where his daughter, Conleigh, plays and his wife, Nancy, coaches, had a practice at GPS simultaneously with his Bruisers squad.

"The little girls watched the big girls play ball," Paul said. "During breaks, the big girls would watch them play."

Brock contacted CCS, which agreed to go along with the idea. CCS and Brainerd Baptist are among seven teams that play in the Independent Schools Association.

"She's really thrilled to be playing with her classmates," Paul said of his daughter. "I think it will be great having it together where the CCS big girls can support their team and our big girls can support Brainerd Baptist, our feeder school."

Umpires sought

The TSSAA Chattanooga Umpires Association is seeking new members for the 2015 spring baseball and softball seasons.

"We are slowly but surely losing our baseball and softball umpires," said Al Slater, the group's secretary-treasurer. "Age is getting some, others have work conflicts and some others just aren't coming back. If someone is interested, there is a need."

The umpires will have their first meeting on Jan. 5 at Notre Dame, but interested individuals are urged to check out the group's website at www.chattaump.org or to call Ralph Chambers at 423-842-6901 or Slater at 423-314-3260.

Baseball umpires are paid $70 per game; softball umps get $60.

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