A new coach, a new season, but the same struggle with a bitter rival is what the Saline volleyball team showed at the SEC Red jamboree last week.
The Hornets and first-year coach Emileen Palka rolled through their first four matches of the day setting up a final showdown with arch-rival Bedford in the final match.
Saline opened rolling past Huron 25-14, 25-13 and then clipped a surprising Skyline squad 25-21, 25-22.
They made it 3-0 on the day beating Pioneer 25-17, 25-13 and then made it four straight rolling past Monroe 25-7, 25-13 to set up the showdown with the Mules.
The Mules have been a thorn in the Hornets side, sending some strong Saline squads to the sidelines in the state tournaments in recent years, including two straight years where the matches went to five sets.
The final match of the day was a battle, but once again the Mules came out on top 23-25, 16-25.
The opening set saw the team knotted at 16, but the Mules would pull away in the end and it knocked the wind out of the Hornets sails as they fell behind early in the second set and never recovered.