published Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Baylor's Lady Red Raiders reaches state semifinals

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    Baylor teammates cheer after winning a point during the Division II-AA state volleyball quarterfinal between Briarcrest Christian and the Baylor School at Baylor on Saturday in Chattanooga.
    Photo by Maura Friedman.
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Baylor's Lady Red Raiders were just getting warmed up when the TSSAA Division II-AA sub-state volleyball match came to an end Saturday.

The Lady Raiders finished their 3-1 home victory over Briarcrest Christian with the final eight points on a day in which sustained scoring runs were hard to come by. Set scores were 25-18, 23-25, 25-19, 25-18.

The Division II classifications will be in semifinals when state-tournament play opens Wednesday at Murfreesboro. Baylor (39-7) will play St. Benedict at Blackman High School at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

"Once you get to the state tournament it's anybody's game," Baylor coach Sarah Lail said. "It goes to the team that makes the least amount of errors. It was great for us to have to battle in a strong match before going in."

Until their closing outburst, the most points the Lady Raiders were able to score in succession was five, which they did twice. They closed the first set that way and in the third went from tied to ahead 19-14.

The Lady Saints (23-16) were unable to string more than four points together, which they did late in the set they won.

"I felt like the girls knew exactly what they were going to try to do," Lail said. "Still, we had to execute in order to stop them."

Rachel Ford led the Lady Raiders with 18 kills and Gabby Gray added 17 and led with 3.5 blocks. Lilly Turner was the digs leader with 22 and Haven Bethune totaled 46 assists. Cassie Elrod served three aces.

GPS season ends

At St. Agnes in Memphis, GPS ended its season by falling 3-0. Set scores were 25-20, 25-16, 25-12.

GPS coach Paul Brock said his team got off to a 20-14 start but things dissolved from there.

Olivia Berger led GPS (21-26) with 16 kills and 14 digs, and Kelby Crownover added 11 digs. They are the Bruisers' only seniors. Reagan Williams led in assists with 16.

Brock listed five concussions, two ankle surgeries, an ACL injury and a burst eardrum as obstacles the Bruisers faced on the way to finishing tied for fifth in the state.

"I'm extremely proud of what we did," Brock said. "It's real easy to not be accountable when things don't go well. These girls won, just not always on the scoreboard."

Division I matches set

The TSSAA has announced Wednesday's first-round Division I matchups for the state tournament at Murfreesboro.

In Class A, Boyd-Buchanan (30-13) will play Eagleville at Siegel High School at 11:30 a.m. EDT. Additionally at 11:30, Signal Mountain (33-21) will take on Crockett County in Class AA on Court 1 at Middle Tennessee State University's Murphy Center. Winners will play again at 5 p.m. Losers will play again at 7.

Also in Class AA on MTSU's Court 1, Red Bank (22-24) will face Page at 2:30, the same time Ooltewah (44-10) will be playing Siegel on Court 2 in AAA. Those winners play again at 6 and losers play again at 8.

Contact Kelley Smiddie at ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.

about Kelley Smiddie...

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 ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com.

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