No matter how many times Debbie Hill watches her Sale Creek volleyball teams celebrate district championships, the feeling never gets old.
Tuesday evening, the Lady Panthers finished another impressive start to the postseason with a 3-0 win over Lookout Valley for their third straight District 6-A title.
"It's a credit to how hard the girls work," Hill said moments after taking celebratory pictures with the team and accepting pats on the back from parents. "These girls were willing to put in the work it takes to reach a moment like this, so it's good to see them get to enjoy it.
"This one is very satisfying because we've had a lot of young players who stepped up and became key players for us."
Both Sale Creek and Lookout Valley advance to next week's Region 3-A tournament at Sale Creek, which begins Monday.
Megan Storey led the Lady Panthers (30-15) with a well-rounded 19 kills, 12 digs and 10 assists, and Lauren Smith added six kills, five digs and two blocks to go with Brooke Welch's 27 digs. Mikayla Crowder also had 13 kills and four blocks as Sale Creek claimed 25-18, 25-15 wins in the first two sets, then held off a determined Lookout Valley team 26-24 to cap off the title.
"To be honest, I expected us to be here, to win this again," said Hill, whose team lost just two sets all season against district opponents. "I don't mean that to sound conceited, but I knew what these kids were capable of and how hard they work, so I felt like they would win it again."
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293.