Sale Creek's volleyball team made history in its gymnasium Thursday night. No Lady Panthers athletic team had ever advanced to a TSSAA state tournament until now.
By defeating Watertown 3-0, Sale Creek (47-12) will be part of the eight-team Class A field next Wednesday through Friday in Murfreesboro. Game scores were 25-23, 25-18, 25-13.
"We fell behind 11-1 in the first game before we got our feet back under us," Sale Creek coach Debbie Hill said. "We kept our composure, didn't get shook, and managed to pull it out down the stretch.
"We struggled a little bit adjusting to the way they played, but once we won that first game, I think that took the wind out of them. We pretty much overpowered them in that third game."
Erin Hill paced the Lady Panthers' attack with 23 kills. Megan Storey had 20 assists and Chelsi Roark led with 15 digs.
The boys' basketball team have Sale Creek's only other state-tournament appearances with two trips in the early 1980s.
Friendship Christian hosted Boyd-Buchanan and defeated the Lady Bucs in another state sectional.
• Class AAA: Soddy-Daisy advanced to the state tournament with a 3-1 victory over Riverdale. Game scores were 25-23, 25-12, 19-25, 25-22.
"I felt like we outserved them and outpassed them," Soddy-Daisy coach Lorri Johnson said. "We had 13 aces and only made three passing errors. From Sarah Davis to Megan Ware, Kelsey Nunley, my little freshman Hannah Robertson, all of them passed the ball on target beautifully, so we were able to run our offense steadily."
Nunley led the Lady Trojans in kills with 19 and equaled Ware with 15 digs. Davis led with 22 digs and six aces and Olivia Holden had 46 assists.
The state-tournament berth is the second consecutive for Soddy-Daisy (50-9), which went 1-2 last year.
Ooltewah lost 3-1 at Siegel by scores of 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18.
The Lady Stars led 17-9 in the pivotal third set before Ooltewah came back to tie it at 18.
"I don't know what happened to us," Siegel third-year coach Ann Mullins said. "We just took some time off. I called a timeout in between that run and told them to settle down and we go back out and get aced.
"When you are 1-1, that third set is crucial."
Three straight Ooltewah errors gave Siegel a three-point lead. After a Lady Owls sideout, Addison Rogers and Carlton Gay made kills to push it to 23-19. Gay won the game with a kill, and Ooltewah never recovered.
Leondra Barrett's 15 kills were high for Ooltewah (40-17), as were Loren Bennett's 20 assists. Kianna Delaney and Karly Newman each totaled 15 digs.