Races are heating up in most area volleyball districts with less than two weeks left in the TSSAA Division I season, but for Sale Creek and Ooltewah, their races are already won.
Sale Creek clinched at least a tie for the District 6-A regular-season championship when it defeated Lookout Valley last Thursday, but the Lady Panthers already own the top seeding for the district tournament. They would have the title outright with a home win Thursday night against Richard Hardy.
Ooltewah is 10-0 with two District 5-AAA matches remaining, but the Lady Owls became regular-season champions Monday when Bradley Central edged Cleveland 3-2. The other six district teams now have at least four league losses.
"We've worked real hard on staying focused and serving aggressive," Ooltewah coach Elaine Peigen said. "Everybody is good in our district and anybody can beat anybody. We've just been fortunate."
Sloan Sullivan has been the Lady Owls' anchor and Peigen said their other senior, Bethany Spange, has increased her level of play this year. Others the coach cited for improved play are junior Courtlyn Ison and sophomores Alex Biro and Hanna Matthews.
"It's been more of a team effort than anything," Peigen said. "The girls want to win. They play well together. They all get along. And we still want to go out undefeated."