Unbeaten Boyd-Buchanan Wins Hixson Invitational

Lady Bucs Rally To Beat Upperman In Championship Match

Saturday, August 19, 2017 - by John Hunt

The Upperman Bees came to Chattanooga on Saturday, hoping to improve on their second-place finish from a year ago in the Hixson Invitational volleyball tournament.

The Bees were again the best in their pool as they defeated teams from Hixson, Grace, McEwen and Notre Dame.

They got a note of revenge in the Gold division semifinal with a 25-13, 25-17 win over defending champ Sale Creek, but they ran out of gas before it was all over and lost to undefeated Boyd-Buchanan in the final match.

The Bees won a tough first set by a 26-24 final, but came up short as the Lady Bucs rallied to win by scores of 25-18 and 15-11.

Boyd-Buchanan was equally impressive in winning its pool with dominant wins over Sale Creek, East Ridge, Red Bank and Central. The Lady Buccaneers advanced to the championship match with a 25-9, 26-24 victory over Notre Dame.

Hixson defeated Grace by scores of 25-12 and 25-15 to win the Silver division.  Grace had advanced with two wins over Red Bank while Hixson advanced with two straight over Central.

“I think we just ran into a buzz saw, but Boyd-Buchanan has a well-coached team and they were better than us today,” said Upperman coach Wayne Lewis after his team had lost for the first time on Saturday and only the second time this season as they headed home with a 7-2 record.

“This is the first time some of my girls have played in a pressure situation and I feel like we played pretty well.  We made some key mistakes at crucial times, but I think we gave them all they wanted.  We always see some good competition at this tournament and we hope to be back next year,” Lewis added.

Boyd-Buchanan coach Nancy Culver felt like a change in her team’s attitude may have been the difference.

“That was a good match, but we got a little frustrated at times.  I felt like we did a good job of keeping our composure, but we changed our attitude after that first set and that may have been the key to our winning today,” she said after all the awards had been presented and the team photos taken.

“This was a great team effort for us today and we’ve really turned the corner in the past three or four days.  Serve and serve receive were really critical for us today, but we were never out of it.  We have seniors who know what to do.  When we play together and do what we’re capable of doing, we’re hard to beat,” she said in reference to the fact that her team had 16 aces in that final match.

“Winning that last match wasn’t easy as Upperman has an outstanding team, but we did a good job of slowing them down.  I’m really happy that we leave hear as the tournament champions,” she added.

The first set was by far the best of the match as momentum shifted back and forth from the start to the finish.  The Bees grabbed the lead at 23-21 before the Lady Bucs scored three straight points for a 24-23 lead, but a service error and two hitting errors were too much as Upperman pulled out the first set.

Upperman scored the first two points of the second set and four of the first five, but an ace from Julia Headrick allowed the Lady Bucs to lead for the first time at 8-7.

It was tied at 11-11 before the Lady Bucs took charge with a kill from Mackenzie Mann and two aces from Maddie Millwood.  It never got any closer as a block from Mann provided the winning point.

The Lady Bucs never trailed in the third set, but back-to-back kills from Olivia Taylor allowed the Bees to knot the score at 11-11.

A kill from Millwood gave the Lady Bucs the lead before Jordan Furtney’s ace forced an Upperman timeout at 13-11.

Mann then recorded another kill before Furtney ended the day with another ace.

Millwood had 11 kills and 12 digs to lead the winning effort while Furtney had 13 assists and four aces.  Madison Taylor finished with a dozen digs while Meredith Balthrop had 10 assists and nine digs for the Lady Bucs.

The Lady Bucs return to action on Monday when they host Lookout Valley.

THE GPS BRUISERS improved to 2-1 with a win and a loss Saturday in Nashville against region opponents.

GPS dropped a 3-1 match against Harpeth Hall by scores of 20-25, 25-23, 26-24 and 27-25 before beating Ensworth 3-0 by scores of 25-23, 25-10 and 25-21.

CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN won four and lost three at Knoxville in the Sunsphere Tournament this weekend.  Wins came against Alcoa, Carter, Corbin and William Blount while setbacks were to Corbin, Oak Ridge and CAK.

BOYD-BUCHANAN STATS (final match only):

Meredith Balthrop – 9 digs, 7 kills, 10 assists, 2 aces

Julia Headrick – 2 digs, 5 kills, 3 aces

Jordan Furtney – 5 digs, 13 assists, 4 aces

Maddie Millwood – 12 digs, 11 kills, 5 aces

Abigail Taylor – 1 dig, 1 kill

Gracie Spencer – 2 digs

Mackenzie Mann – 1 dig, 4 kills, 3 blocks

Madison Taylor – 12 digs, 1 assist

Zoe Pryor – 2 aces.

GPS STATS (combined matches):

Presslee Brooksbank -- 24 kills, 4 aces, 30 digs, half block

Charlotte Vance -- 6 aces, 16 digs

Karly Benefield -- 3 aces, 1 assist, 32 digs

Emma Moore -- 5 kills, 67 assists, 4 aces, 14 digs, 3 half blocks

Hannah Kincer -- 6 kills, 7 half blocks

Lilly Berger -- 18 kills, 7 aces, 19 digs, 5 half blocks

Kendall Crum -- 8 kills, 3 half blocks

Reagan Long -- 12 kills, 7 digs, 1 block, 4 half blocks.

CCS STATS (combined for tournament):

A.J. Johnson -- 41 kills, 8 aces, 43 digs, 5 blocks, 1 assist

Savannah Ricketts -- 14 kills, 8 aces, 23 digs

Rachel Kay -- 61 assists, 11 aces, 6 digs

Emily Day -- 29 assists, 3 kills, 8 aces

Bailey Lancaster -- 9 assists, 16 aces, 2 digs

Summer Jones -- 44 digs, 2 kills, 1 assist, 7 aces

Grace Logterman -- 23 kills, 5 aces, 10 blocks, 1 assist, 3 digs

Brieana Hemphill -- 16 kills, 1 ace, 2 blocks, 4 digs

Jenny Armao -- 10 kills, 1 dig

Mary Vandergriff -- 10 kills, 2 blocks, 2 digs

Jolie Adams -- 2 kills, 1 block

Macy Moore -- 7 digs, 1 ace

Reagan Simpson -- 3 digs.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)



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