The Chattanooga area did better than average in the first round of the TSSAA State Volleyball Tournament, which started at three sites in Murfreesboro, as four of the five teams from Hamilton County won their first-round matches..
Boyd-Buchanan, East Hamilton, Ooltewah and Baylor all won Wednesday morning while Boyd-Buchanan and East Hamilton added wins in the second round. Ooltewah lost to Brentwood in the second round after defeating Columbia in Wednesday's first match.
The lone exception was the Red Bank Lionettes, who lost three straight to Goodpasture in another Class AA match. Goodpasture advanced by scores of 25-15, 25-22 and 25-14.
Red Bank bounced back late Wednesday night to defeat Chester County in three straight, advancing to a Thursday afternoon match with CAK. The Lionettes won by scores of 25-10, 25-15 and 25-9.
"It was a long, long day for us, but we hope to have another long day on Thursday," said Red Bank coach Christel Brooks after Wednesday's second match.
"We've been here five straight years and we've been 1-1 after the first day each of the last four years. We realize what we have to do and we know that we have our work cut out for us. It will be hard work, but we know it can be done.
"We were much more ready to play against Chester County than we were against Goodpasture. I hope we got the butterflies out of our system in that first match, but we had much better ball control in the second one. We'll just have to keep battling," Brooks added.
The Lady Bucs improved to 32-13 with a 3-2 victory over Knoxville Grace in their first match before defeating Madison 3-0 in the second round.
"We started out slow and sluggish in that first match, but things got better as the day progressed," said Boyd-Buchanan coach Ashley Rose after a well-deserved dinner break.
"We were a little hesitant at first, but we pulled it out. It was nice to get that first win out of the way. We stayed and watched Madison play as they had the next match. Our girls felt like we should beat them and we did in three straight.
"Overall, I'm very, very happy with the way we played today. The worst we can finish now is third, no matter what happens," Rose added.
Grace won the first and third sets by 25-21 scores, but the Lady Bucs didn't panic and came back with a 25-23 win in set two and 25-11 in set four before breezing to a 15-5 win in the fifth set.
The Lady Bucs had a much easier time in the second match, winning three straight by scores of 25-20, 25-18 and 25-11.
Boyd-Buchanan will now play Friendship Christian on Thursday at 2 p.m. EST at Blackman.
"We'll have to do what we do best and do to almost perfection. Friendship Christian is a lot like Sale Creek. They have an outstanding team, but my girls are confident they can play with them. I like to see that. But we did what we needed to do today as things are going our way right now," the second-year coach added.
East Hamilton only needed three sets to post a shutout over Dyersburg, the Lady Hurricanes advancing with scores of 25-15, 25-21 and 25-16.
The Lady Hurricanes had to battle a little harder and a bit longer before defeating Christian Academy of Knoxville in the second round, 3-2.
East Hamilton won the first two sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-15 and appeared to be cruising, but the Lady Warriors had other ideas by winning the next two by scores of 25-19 and 25-18. Then in the fifth, the Lady Hurricanes prevailed, 15-12.
"I'm worn out," said East Hamilton coach Kristy Lenoir after her team had won both matches on Wednesday.
"We played consistent volleyball most of the day, but we just had a little more firepower than Dyersburg. We won our first two sets against CAK, but we let down after that. That's been a big problem for us, but we were able to battle back and win, which was the first five-set match we've won all year.
"I told my girls that they've worked hard for the last five months and to keep their eye on the prize. We were playing well and we wanted to keep it going. It was gut-check time after that fourth set. The score was tied at 11 in the fifth set before we scored four of the last five points.
"We know how tough it is to come back through the losers' bracket, so winning those first two matches were a whole lot easier than trying to come back the other way," Lenoir added.
The Ooltewah Lady Owls, like Boyd-Buchanan, had to really battle to get past Columbia, but the Lady Owls didn't fare as well in their second match, beating Brentwood 25-13 in the first set before losing three straight by scores of 25-14, 25-12 and 25-18.
Ooltewah's scores against Columbia were 20-25, 25-17, 25-14, 18-25 and 15-12.
"We had a good match, but we were down and were able to fight back," said Ooltewah coach Elaine Peigen.
"We came out flat in the fourth set and then we were down 11-8 in the fifth before we came back. We executed at the right time and they made some unforced errors that helped us," Peigen added.
"We didn't play our best match against Brentwood as we had a lot of poor serve reception. We regret that we didn't win, but we still get to play again tomorrow," the veteran coach said before watching the Bearden-Houston match.
Baylor improved to 35-12 with its 3-2 victory over Battle Ground Academy.
The Lady Red Raiders had beaten BGA 3-0 in an earlier match, but Wednesday's battle was much closer as Baylor won the first set 25-22 before BGA won the second by the same score. Baylor won the third by 25-20 before BGA evened it again with another 25-22 win. Baylor then advanced with a 15-9 decision in the third set.
"We're definitely happy to get past the first match with a win and to get those early jitters out," said Baylor coach Sarah Lail as her team was about to enjoy a steak dinner at Outback.
"We executed on our serves and did a good job running our offense. We had some long rallies, but we got what we needed and I'm glad that we could come out on top.
"Madeline Rose and Rachel Travis both played exceptionally well and it's great to have two outstanding hitters like them. Rachel gets most of the publicity, but Madeline is our secret weapon," Lail praised.
Baylor will now face Harpeth Hall in the winners bracket semifinal on Thursday with the match starting about 12:30 Chattanooga time at Siegel.
"Harpeth Hall is definitely a great team and we lost to them 3-1 in early September. We just have to play our game, knowing that any team can win at this point," Lail added.
Travis and Rose were indeed outstanding with Travis having 20 kills and 21 digs. Rose was equally as good with 19 kills and 17 digs.
Megan Kaylor contributed with 30 assists and 15 digs while Macall Nabors finished with 18 digs.
Ooltewah is now 26-19 and will face the winner of the Bearden-Houston match on Thursday at MTSU, starting about 12:30 EST.
BOYD-BUCHANAN COMBINED STATS:
Mandi Jones -- 16 digs, 13 kills, 1 ace;
Jessica Kirk -- 17 digs, 22 kills, 6 aces;
Lauren Van Eaton -- 2 digs, 2 kills;
Kristen Reynolds -- 13 digs, 10 kills, 39 assists, 4 aces;
Sarah Cupp -- 13 digs;
Lindsey Yates -- 8 digs, 1 kill, 40 assists, 2 aces;
Emily Ann Ray -- 1 kill;
Madison Howard -- 6 digs, 27 kills, 2 blocks, 2 aces;
Madison Balthrop -- 1 kill;
Sydney Spencer -- 4 digs, 12 kills, 1 block, 1 ace;
Katie Delay -- 56 digs, 10 aces.
EAST HAMILTON STATS VS. DYERSBURG:
Kylie Scruggs -- 10 kills, 7 digs, 3.5 blocks;
Emma Lenoir -- 8 kills, 14 assists, 3 digs, 2 aces, 0.5 block;
Morgan Phillips -- 6 digs, 2 aces, 2 blocks;
Emily Clemmons -- 3 digs, 1 ace;
Sydney Harris -- 12 assists, 4 digs, 2 aces;
Kennedy Fager -- 7 kills, 1.5 blocks;
Briley Considine -- 5 kills, 1 dig, 2.5 blocks;
Meredith Stott -- 2 blocks, 1 kill.
EAST HAMILTON STATS VS. CAK:
Kylie Scruggs -- 13 kills, 11 digs, 1.5 blocks;
Emma Lenoir -- 12 kills, 5 digs, 1 ace, 16 assists, 3 blocks;
Morgan Phillips -- 3 kills, 18 digs, 2 aces, 1 assist, 0.5 block;
Emily Clemmons -- 16 digs, 1 ace;
Sydney Harris -- 13 assists, 4 aces, 15 digs;
Kennedy Fager -- 1 dig, 6 kills, 2.5 blocks;
Briley Considine -- 3 kills, 5 aces, 5 digs, 5 blocks;
Meredith Stott -- 1 kill, 2.5 blocks.
OOLTEWAH STATS VS. COLUMBIA:
Sloan Sullivan - 9 kills, 13 digs, 1 block
Kelsey Chernak - 2 kills, 25 digs, 33 kills, 1 ace
Karly Newman - 5 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace, 11 digs, 2 blocks
Izabela Zdunek - 7 kills, 3 assists, 4 aces, 16 digs, 7 blocks
Leondra Barrett - 14 kills
Courtlyn Ison - 13 kills, 8 blocks
Bethany Spange - 1 ace, 8 digs
Josie Cain - 3 aces, 11 digs
OOLTEWAH STATS VS. BRENTWOOD:
Leondra Barrett -- 10 kills, 2.5 blocks;
Kelsey Chernak -- 20 assists, 1 kill, 1 ace, 7 digs, 2.5 blocks;
Josie Cain -- 1 ace, 4 digs;
Sloan Sullivan -- 3 kills, 1 ace, 11 digs, 1 block;
Bethany Spange -- 6 digs;
Isabela Zdunek -- 4 kills, 8 digs, 2 blocks;
Courtlyn Ison -- 1 kill, 1 dig, 3.5 blocks;
Karly Newman -- 9 kills, 7 digs.
BAYLOR STATS VS. BGA:
Greyson Ingle -- 1 kill, 1 block;
Kate Kaufman -- 2 digs, 2 assists, 2 blocks;
Haven Bethune -- 10 digs, 1 ace;
Madeline Rose -- 19 kills, 17 digs, 5 blocks, 2 aces;
Macall Nabors -- 18 digs, 1 ace;
Rachel Travis -- 20 kills, 21 digs, 2 blocks, 3 aces;
Megan Kaylor -- 30 assists, 15 digs, 3 kills, 2 aces;
Rachel Ford -- 10 kills, 18 digs.
RED BANK STATS VS. GOODPASTURE:
Savannah Nelson -- 6 kills;
Ansley Helton -- 3 kills, 12 digs;
Shelby Hayes -- 12 kills, 3 blocks, 15 digs;
Abby Graham -- 20 assists, 6 digs, 2 aces;
Autumn Babb -- 11 digs;
Hannah Wilson -- 2 digs;
Caitlyn Jenkins -- 5 digs, 1 block;
Jasmine Simpson -- 1 kill, 1 block.
RED BANK STATS VS. CHESTER CO.:
Savannah Nelson -- 17 kills, 1 block;
Ansley Helton -- 6 kills, 2 assists, 20 digs;
Shelby Hayes -- 10 kills, 5 digs;
Abby Graham -- 31 assists, 3 kills, 2 aces, 4 digs;
Autumn Babb -- 11 digs;
Rachel Thornbury -- 17 digs;
Allison Walker -- 2 kills, 1 assist;
Hannah Wilson -- 7 digs;
Kieron Adkins -- 2 aces, 1 dig;
Caitlyn Jenkins -- 12 kills, 5 digs.
(email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)