We’re getting closer and closer to the end of high school volleyball season, so it’s no real surprise that the Baylor girls are clicking on all cylinders.
The Lady Red Raiders took another step toward being the top-seeded team in their region on Monday night with a methodical 3-0 win over Father Ryan, the defending state champs winning by scores of 25-17, 25-13 and 25-11.
With the win, Baylor improves to 27-4 overall and 12-0 in region play while the Lady Irish fall to 19-10 overall and 9-3 in the region.
Monday wasn’t a complete loss for Father Ryan as they defeated GPS in five sets, the Lady Irish winning by scores of 25-23, 25-20, 12-25, 19-25 and 15-12.
GPS is now 15-10 overall and 5-4 in region play.
But on a long day when the weather was not very nice, it all ended on a positive note for Baylor.
“I thought we served well on a rainy, Monday night and that helped us get them out of their offense,” said Baylor coach Sarah Lail once the final point had been scored.
“I thought we were balanced on offense as we spread the ball around well and everyone did their part. We took the next step in securing the top seed and getting that first-round bye, but this season is fast coming to an end and we’re just trying to enjoy our time together,” Lail added.
Father Ryan had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the first set, but an ace from Hayden Barton gave Baylor the lead at 3-2 and the Lady Red Raiders never trailed again in that set.
A kill from Sierra Herndon gave Baylor a 17-9 lead and called for a Father Ryan timeout while a hitting error by the Purple Irish gave Baylor its biggest lead at 21-12. Back-to-back hitting errors a minute later gave Baylor the first set.
Baylor jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second set and never trailed as back-to-back kills from Elizabeth Case and Denver Rogers put Baylor at set point before taking the 2-0 lead on another hitting error by the guests from Nashville.
Father Ryan led 2-0 in the third set before Baylor took the lead at 3-2. Two kills and a block from Ally Craig extended Baylor lead to 9-4 and a Purple Irish timeout, but it didn’t make much difference as Baylor was clicking in all areas and well on their way to another victory.
Father Ryan coach Ann Mullins wasn’t feeling the best when her team’s second match of the day finally ended.
“It was a tough day for us. We won the first two sets at GPS before winning the fifth, but we’re playing sloppy and I’m not really happy with our performance,” she said after a short talk with her girls.
“I thought Meghan Spalding was our best player today as she did some positive things, but our defense did the best they could against a really good Baylor team. I did see some good things from our team despite getting blown out, but I’m just hoping we’ll get to play them again in Murfreesboro,” she said in reference to the state tournament on Oct. 14-16.
Denver Rogers, Case and Craig all had seven kills to lead the Baylor attack while Rogers and Craig also had nine and eight digs, respectively. Elaine Redman finished with 32 assists while Herndon and Craig were both credited with five blocks. Rogers had four aces while Hayden Barton and Redman both had three.
Baylor returns to action with another home match on Tuesday, facing Soddy Daisy on Senior Night. Sarah Barker, Barton, Case, Craig and Rogers will all be honored.
Two more home matches will follow on Friday with region foes Brentwood Academy and Pope John Paul II being the opposition. The Lady Red Raiders will then play in a big tournament in Atlanta on Saturday before facing Walton on Tuesday, the nation’s top-ranked high school team.
“You can only get better by playing great teams like them and that’s why we schedule matches like that,” Lail explained.
Sarah Barker – 4 kills, 2 blocks
Hayden Barton – 3 aces, 7 digs
Elizabeth Case – 1 ace, 7 kills, 2 blocks, 2 digs
Ally Craig – 7 kills, 5 blocks, 8 digs
Julia Hartman – 1 dig
Sierra Herndon – 2 kills, 5 blocks
Laura Kate May – 5 digs
Elaine Redman – 3 aces, 3 kills, 32 assists, 6 digs
Denver Rogers – 4 aces, 7 kills, nine digs
Emoree Rogers – 1 ace
Holland Moss – 2 kills, 1 block.
Faith Copeland – 4 kills, 50 assists, 2 aces, 12 digs
Preslee Brooksbank – 23 kills, 3 aces, 25 digs, 1 block assist
Chapel Cunningham – 10 kills, 1 ace, 8 digs, 1 block assist
Kendall Crum – 17 kills, 1 block, 1 block assist
Kylie Barry – 2 kills 1 ace, 4 digs, 1 block assist
Karly Benefield – 8 digs
Charlotte Vance – 1 kill, 2 aces, 18 digs
Katherine Berce – 2 aces, 22 digs
Ansley Blevins – 1 kill, 1 dig, 1 block, 2 block assists.
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)