St. Agnes Sweeps Baylor In D-II State Volleyball Final

Lady Stars Win Second Straight State Title With 25-13, 25-23, 25-19 Victory

Friday, October 25, 2013 - by John Hunt

MURFREESBORO, TN -- The Baylor volleyball team was seeing stars at MTSU's Murphy Center Friday afternoon.

Lots of stars, many more than they care to remember.

More specifically, it was a bunch of Lady Stars from St. Agnes who beat the Lady Red Raiders by a 3-0 count in the championship match of the Division II state volleyball tournament.

Baylor had defeated St. Agnes on Thursday in the winners bracket final by a 3-1 margin in a match where every set was close.

But with all the chips on the line, the championship belonged to the Lady Stars as they came back stronger than ever and created difficult situations that the Lady Red Raiders simply had no answer for.

Set scores were 25-13, 25-23 and 25-19.

"That was absolutely incredible," said St. Agnes coach Ryan Wallace after watching his team win for the second-straight year to finish the season at 31-6.

"We wanted to have a strong start and we did, but volleyball is such a mental game.  We just focused on keeping our composure and our goal was to use our power and our knowledge to our advantage.  I feel like we accomplished that goal.

"Today our serving was much better as we only had one service error and that was late  in the match.  But I'm very happy with the way we played as we beat a very good Baylor team today," Wallace nodded while his girls celebrated with hugs and high fives.

St. Agnes was the number one team from the West region while Baylor was the top team from the East-Middle region.  The Lady Stars may have come up short on Thursday, but they learned from their mistakes as they prevailed without much difficulty.

"They served tough and it seemed like they knew more about what we wanted to do," said Baylor coach Sarah Lail, her team having just finished an outstanding season with 41 wins in 49 matches.

"We didn't execute and they did.  I know that we're capable of playing much better than we did, but it's hard to battle back against such a top-quality team as St. Agnes.  I'm not sure if it was a case of nerves of maybe playing in the big gym, but we got timid.

"I hate it for our three seniors as they've been wonderful leaders for our team, but we have such a young group and we appear to have a bright future.  Today just wasn't our day," Lail nodded.

St. Agnes jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set and never trailed.  The difference was 14-6 when Baylor's Haven Bethune recorded four straight service points, but Haley Cremerius had a block for the Lady Stars to stop the streak as St. Agnes cruised to the first-set win.

The Lady Stars scored the first two points of the second set and had the upper hand until a block from Greyson Ingle gave Baylor its first lead of the day at 7-6.

The biggest lead for Baylor was four points at 11-7 and 12-8 and the Lady Red Raiders were still ahead at 20-17 when Wallace called his team's first timeout.

The Lady Stars responded in a positive fashion with three points to tie before a block from Cremerus gave the lead back to St. Agnes at 21-20. 

The score was tied two more times, the last time following a kill from Jane Wilson to make it 23-23.  A service error by Baylor and another kill from Christina White closed the deal in the second set as the complexion of the match had begun to change.

The Lady Stars were feeling more and more confident while Baylor's confidence level was quickly dropping.

As was the case in the first two sets, the Lady Stars bolted to a 5-0 lead in the third set before Baylor scored on a kill by Rachel Ford.

Two kills by Stephanie Hochu wrapped around one by Katie Paine gave the Lady Stars a 14-5 lead before Baylor rallied with four straight points, three on consecutive kills by Lexy Hellerstedt, Wilson and Ford and a service ace by Lilly Turner.

St. Agnes then regained its composure to scored three of the next four points to regain control of the match.

A kill from Gabby Gray got Baylor within two at 20-18, but the Lady Stars then scored five of the final six points to conclude the match and set off their victory celebration.

Gray led the Baylor hitters with 16 kills while Bethune was busy with 32 assists and nine digs.  Turner finished with 19 digs and a pair of aces.

Ford had 10 kills, seven digs and three aces in her final match for Baylor.

White, the Lady Star's talented 5-10 outside hitter, was honored as the Outstanding Player for the match after being one of the more dominant players for the winners.

BAYLOR STATS:

Greyson Ingle -- 1 block;

Jane Wilson -- 3 kills, 1 block;

Haven Bethune -- 2 aces, 1 block, 32 assists, 9 digs;

Cassie Elrod -- 5 digs;

Lilly Turner -- 19 digs, 2 aces;

Sarah Sumida -- 1 dig;

Gabby Gray -- 16 kills, 2 blocks, 6 digs;

Lexy Hellerstedt -- 3 kills, 1 block, 2 digs;

Rachel Ford -- 3 aces, 10 kills, 7 digs.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Dalton State Cross Country Teams To Run Saturday

Dalton State cross country teams will join more than 40 teams and an estimated 300-325 runners per gender that are expected Saturday morning as the University of South Carolina Beaufort’s home course, which starts and finishes on the Hardeeville school campus. Larry Kimball, USCB cross country coach, organized the Sand Shark Invitational 2007.  “We’ve created a monster,” ... (click for more)

Juster Takes Low-Pro Honors At Windstone

Gregg Juster shot 71 on Monday and took low-pro honors in the Chattanooga Chapter TN PGA Pro-Am at the Windstone Golf Club.  Monday's Results: Low Professional : 1st: (71) Gregg Juster 2nd: (77) Doug Amor Professional Skins: Gregg Juster #6, Doug Amor #12 & #17,  David Owens #!4 & #15 Amateur Skins: Jay Potter #1, Erik Atkinson #4, Jeff Ott #5, ... (click for more)

Architect/Contractor Selected By Erlanger For New Children's/Women's Hospital

HKS has been selected as the architect and McCarthy as the construction manager for a new Children’s and Women’s Hospital at the Erlanger campus on East Third Street. The Atlanta team competed against another Atlanta group for the major construction project. Erlanger officials announced Monday that $11.5 million is being set aside in a debt restructuring for the new $30 ... (click for more)

Westfield Charged In Burning, Torture Of Kitten At Cleveland

An arrest has been made in the case of a kitten who was burned and tortured in Cleveland, Tn. At 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Gary A. Westfield, 31, of Cleveland, was placed in custody on a warrant obtained by Lt. Robert Harbison and Detective Matt Jenkins of the Criminal Investigations Division. Westfield was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, which is a Class E felony. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)