When did she feel most confident about Addison dethroning two-time defending state champion Donoho?
“Before it started,” said Hinton, who wrapped up her junior season as the Class 1A Elite Eight State Tournament MVP. “I was honestly confident from the beginning.”
So were her teammates.
Addison shook off a pair of heart-breaking state championship losses to Donoho with a convincing, 25-22, 25-14, 25-16 victory over the Falcons in the Class 1A state championship match.
“Last year we were athletic, but we were young and immature. I didn’t feel we were ready,” said Addison coach Pam Wilkins, who earned her sixth state championship over the last 11 years. “We don’t have a lot of seniors this year, but we are a year older and we remember what happened last year when we played.
“We made up our mind to go for it, win or lose.”
The first set was a battle, with Addison pulling away late for the victory.
From there, it was all Bulldogs. Addison trailed just once over the final two sets.
“We weren’t nervous. We were actually really pumped up,” Hinton added.
Hinton finished the match with 12 kills, six digs, five aces and one block. Jessy Taylor had 12 kills, five blocks and three digs, Holly Posey had 29 assists, four digs, two blocks and two kills and Kayla Robinson added eight digs and three kills.
Posey and Taylor joined Hinton on the Class 1A All-Tournament Team. Meek's Morgan Hudson also made the squad.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Posey said after the win. “It’s really one of the best feelings I’ve experienced. Last year my heart was broken because it was my sister’s last season. This year I promised I would win it for her.”
Posey's sister Chelsea was on last year's runner-up team.
Addison won the opening set last year only to lose three in a row in a gut-wrenching loss to Donoho.
That wasn’t the case on Thursday.
No. 1 Addison took control late in the first set. No. 2 Donoho led by as many as three points at 16-13 only to have the Bulldogs rebound to tie the match at 18-18. Addison grabbed the lead for good at 19-18. A Jessy Taylor kill put Addison up 24-22 and an unforced error by Donoho closed the set.
Making sure history didn’t repeat itself, Addison hammered Donoho in the next two sets.
Addison won six straight points early in the second set behind the serve of Jessica Robinson to take a 7-1 lead. Donoho didn’t get closer than four points the rest of the way as the Bulldogs won 25-14.
Donoho led 6-5 in the third set only to have Addison go on a 5-0 run. The Bulldogs never looked back, cruising to the 25-16 victory.
“I’m proud of the effort. We are a real close team. We had our highs and lows. We had a lot of injuries,” Wilkins said. “I know that Summer was the MVP, but honestly we really don’t have a true team MVP. It’s a team effort. I think that shows.”
Wilkins said the addition of assistant coach Kayla Woodard, added an element to the Bulldogs this season.
“One of the biggest differences this year was that we added a player who used to play for me. She had four years at Mississippi State and she helps with our defensive set. That’s huge. I’ve never had that help before,” Wilkins said.
The match was the final one for Addison seniors: Kayla Robinson, Sarra Martin, Katie Russell, Kelsey Denson and Lauren Cutcher.
Addison has now won six titles in 11 years under Wilkins: 2003-05, 2009-10 and 2013.