After a 15-day layoff from matches, the Baylor girls' tennis team was anxious and eager to get back on the court. The methodical approach of constant training and practicing had started to wear on the team, and they were prepared for an actual match.
Battle Ground Academy became that match, and the hosts didn't waste any time.
The Lady Red Raiders advanced to the Division II-AA state semifinals with a 7-0 victory over the Lady Wildcats in match that took less than two hours. Baylor (11-0) will face Harpeth Hall next Tuesday in the state semifinals at Old Fort State Park in Murfreesboro.
Baylor coach Dustin Kane mixed his lineup and sat out a couple of regular starters, and Jenna Thorstenson and Grace Petty claimed singles victories. In addition, Maggie Crumbliss, McCall Morgan, Mary Walker Mixon and Christine Palisoc were victorious in singles.
Sophomore McCall Morgan said there was a relief now that the team has finalized their goal of advancing to the state tournament.
"It's obviously nerve-wracking trying to get here," Morgan said, "But we're a good team, and we trust each other and know what we're capable of. We're all really excited to be a part of the state tournament, and we feel we have a really good chance of winning it."
Kane noted that over the past few weeks, the entire team has gone through the rigors of training, with three-mile runs after practice and on-court sprints, among other things. The thought was to simulate the idea of being tired in deep matches, and while Wednesday's match turned into nothing more than a warm-up for next week, the team was happy to be back on the court.
"These last few weeks of practice have been the most intense of the year," he said. "The girls were ready to play again; they feel really prepared for state, more prepared than in year's past.
"They've put in a lot of time and effort. Now they have even more confidence when they play, and we're back in the state tournament."