MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- If Baylor was going to split two matches with St. Agnes at the TSSAA state volleyball tournament, losing the first and winning the second was the way to do it.
Gaining a measure of payback against the team that dumped them into the Division II-AA losers bracket on Wednesday, the Lady Red Raiders came back and beat the Stars 3-1 at Middle Tennessee State University. Game scores were 25-21, 25-13, 23-25, 25-22.
Baylor (31-13) will play for the championship against Ensworth today at MTSU at 1 p.m. EDT.
Baylor coach Sarah Lail acknowledged that among the things her team did well in the rematch was hit at a .362 clip while scoring with nine blocks and making 81 digs.
"We played really, really well," Lail said. "We're very excited about where we are. We had an all-around great team effort. We came out really focused."
Rachel Travis led the Lady Raiders with 21 kills and 21 digs. Megan Kaylor and Lindsey Yates had 25 assists apiece. Nicole Sumida led in blocks and aces with four each.
Lail said it did matter to her girls that they got another chance at St. Agnes. She also noted the same about Ensworth, the No. 1-seeded team from the East/Middle Region where the Lady Raiders were the No. 2-seeded team.
"Any time you play somebody and there's a little bit of a rivalry there, it brings the excitement level up," Lail said.
The coach said Ensworth has a big blocker who can cause problems, but she feels confident in her hitters. Therefore, passing will be the key for her team.
"It's going to be a dogfight for sure," Lail said, "but we're ready for it."
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.