One of the best weapons for Hixson High School's volleyball team comes on the first point of contact.
After splitting the first two sets of Tuesday's regular-season finale at home against Red Bank, the Lady Wildcats had a combined 17 aces in the third and fourth sets to win the nonregion match 21-25, 25-22, 25-13, 25-18.
"Our serving is very strong," said Hixson coach Robert Catlett, whose team improved to 9-6. "When we are on target, these girls can serve a lot of teams off the court if they want to. I love this team because we have hard servers and tall girls up front on the net. If the other team has a bad overpass, it sets Riley (Bellamy), Rickell (Crutcher) and Ava (Rogers) to pound away."
Bellamy found openings in the defense late, with seven of her match-high 10 kills coming in the final two sets, and she and Crutcher impressed several times with cross-court kills down the sidelines. Crutcher's strong service keyed a 9-0 run in the third set to break a 9-all tie, and the home crowd's student section was noticeably louder the rest of the match.
Sophomore Paris Simmons had four straight aces in the final set, and Jenna Westfall helped close the door with three. Rogers led Hixson with five aces, including one that was akin to a knuckleball, and Anna Johnston four aces and 16 assists.
For Red Bank, Bailee Phillips had six kills and six aces, while Zoe Helms had six kills and 14 assists.
Baylor 3, Chattanooga Christian School 0: Baylor won 25-10, 25-10, 25-16 behind standout performances from Elaine Redman (20 assists, 15 digs, 10 kills), Libby May (14 assists, six digs), Eli Kinney (14 digs, four kills), Tess Margio (eight kills), Emma Gray (14 digs), Frances Brantley (eight digs) and Sierra Herndon (six kills, five digs).
Major contributors for the Lady Chargers were Kayla Youell (eight kills, two blocks), Emily Day (16 assists, six digs), Avery Ray (six kills), AJ Johnson (12 digs, three kills), Lauren Kay (13 digs), Lauren Day (eight digs) and Annie Johnston (eight digs).
Walker Valley 3, Soddy-Daisy 0: Leading players for Soddy-Daisy in the 25-16, 25-22, 25-21 loss were Caroline Lemons (seven kills, five aces), Hope Ingle (15 assists, three digs, two blocks), Ameriah McKenzie (nine digs, three kills), Carolina Jenkins (two blocks) and Emma Harding (seven digs).
East Hamilton 3, Howard 0: The Lady Hurricanes won 25-15, 25-10, 25-8 to secure the top seed in the District 6-AA tournament, and freshman setter Tristin Sutton led the way with eight of the team's 26 aces aces, plus 13 assists, seven digs and five kills. Meg Lewis and Angelia Seder each added six aces, and McKenna Hayes had five kills.
Silverdale Baptist Academy 3, Collegedale Academy 0: Silverdale won 25-14, 25-16, 25-20, with standouts for the Lady Seahawks including Savannah Williams (seven kills, seven digs), Melanie Marcus (five kills), Shelby Evans (eight kills), Casey Neal (seven digs), Ashlee Kugler (17 assists, nine digs), Ansley Junkins (10 digs) and Avery Butterworth (seven digs).
* Dade County beat Adairsville, 25-17, 25-15, but lost to Gordon Lee, 25-16, 25-8. Against Adairsville, Logan Frint had nine kills, six digs, four aces and two blocks, with other standouts Zoie Smith (15 assists), Bailey Davis (eight digs, four aces, three kills, three blocks), Delaynee Davis (14 digs, three aces) and Freedom Cole (five digs, three aces). Against Gordon Lee, the Lady Wolverines were led by Smith (seven assists), Delaynee Davis (six digs) and Bailey Davis (four digs, three kills).
* Heritage improved to 24-5 with three wins Monday — against Silverdale, 26-24, 14-25, 25-15, 25-22; Cedartown, 25-9, 25-7; and Pickens, 25-8, 25-8. Heritage standouts were: vs. Silverdale, Lauren Francis (17 assists, 13 kills), Anna Wilks (14 digs, five aces) and Kallie Carter (seven kills, five blocks); vs. Cedartown, Francis (nine assists, seven kills); Avery Phillips (nine assists) and Abbey Blevins (six kills); vs. Pickens, Aaliyah Rodgers (six kills).
* Signal Mountain's boys inched closer to winning their third consecutive TSSAA Division I Small Class state championship Tuesday. The Eagles shot 22-over-par 310 to lead Kingston by five strokes after the first of two 18-hole rounds at WillowBrook Golf Course in Manchester. Beck Lewis headed into the final round in third place after a 1-over 73 with five birdies, and teammates Carson Johnson and Peyton Ogle each shot a 78 and were tied for 12th.
* Sale Creek senior Ashley Holland shot a 78 on the first day of the Small Class girls' state tournament in Manchester and was fifth going into the final round.
* Cleveland's Lady Blue Raiders won the D-I Large Class Region 3 tournament at Cleveland Country Club by eight strokes over Cookeville, and junior Hannah Nall was the individual runner-up after she shot a 1-under 71 and los on the second hole of a sudden death playoff. Bradley Central's JT McKenzie was second in the boys championship shooting par to advance to the state tournament, and the Bears finished second to Cookeville.
* GPS defeated CCS in stroke play, 86-91, at Moccasin Bend on Monday. Olivia Scotchie led the Bruisers with a nine-hole round of 42.
Baylor 2, McMinn County 2: In Monday's nonregion matchup, Baylor equalized in the 76th minute as Aliya Cooper scored off an assist from Zoey Mize. Allison Hansford and Sydnee Duncan played well for McMinn, and Baylor keeper Addison Yelton finished with seven saves.
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 2, Rockmart 0: On Monday, the Lady Warriors (13-8, 9-4 Region 6-AAA) remained a game out of second place as Haley Stahl pitched a three-hitter while also hitting a home run and driving in a pair of runs. LFO is a half-game behind Coahulla Creek (9-3) and tied with Ringgold and Rockmart with four losses. Sonoraville leads 6-AAA with a 10-2 league mark.