There was a lot of high school volleyball action inside the Susan Ingram Thurman Gymnasium at Red Bank Tuesday afternoon, including three teams who have enjoyed much success at the state level in recent years.
Baylor headed back home with a pair of 2-0 wins over Red Bank and Boyd-Buchanan while the host Lionettes made themselves feel a little bit better with a 2-0 victory over the Lady Bucs.
Baylor beat Red Bank by scores of 25-16 and 25-14 before taking care of Boyd-Buchanan by scores of 25-16 and 25-12.
Then in the third match, Red Bank beat the Lady Bucs by scores of 25-14 and 25-15.
Baylor graduated five seniors from last year and coach Sarah Lail says that she has a young team, but they played like a bunch of seasoned veterans.
"For our first match of the season, I'm really pleased to get two wins against a couple of quality teams," the Baylor coach said as her team prepared to head home.
"We had two good all-around matches as I thought we passed well, which allowed us to get some pretty good swings at the ball. We were able to put the ball away at critical times, but there's always room for improvement. This is a great way for us to start the season," Lail added, knowing that her next match is Thursday at Chattanooga Christian.
Red Bank coach Mandi Munn didn't have much to smile about after her team's thumping against Baylor, but she was much happier following the win over Boyd-Buchanan.
"They finally started playing Red Bank volleyball," she explained the difference in the two matches.
"We had a heart to heart talk between matches and the girls owned up to the mistakes they made, so I was really pleased at how well we came back and redeemed ourselves in the match against Boyd-Buchanan.
"It feels good to get that first win. We played poorly against Baylor. Positive reinforcement is what works best with these girls and they came out in the second match and made the necessary changes," she continued.
The Lionettes will play their fourth match in three days with a battle at Ooltewah on Wednesday.
"You have to play the best if you want to be the best," Munn concluded with a smile.
The Lady Bucs had a phenomenal season a year ago when they finished as the state runner-up in Class A. However, there are only two starters back from that team, so coach Ashley Rose has plenty of work to do.
"We've played Baylor several times this summer in camps and stuff and today is the best we've played against them. Obviously, we still have a lot of work to do, but playing back-to-back matches is tough.
"We're still trying to fill some holes from a year ago and we're working to get better. We hit the ball well at times and we had some nice long rallies, but we still have a ways to go," Rose added.
Gabby Gray was the leader for the Lady Red Raiders with 18 kills and 10 digs for the two matches while Lilly Turner added 16 kills and nine digs.
Teammate Rachel Ford was a force with a dozen kills and five digs while Haven Bethune finished with 26 assists and six aces.
Abby Graham recorded 13 assists and five digs for Red Bank while Autumn Babb had eight digs. Hannah Wilson also had eight digs to go along with four aces while Marjorie Smith had a good day with five kills and two blocks.
Katie Delay was the most steady force for the Lady Bucs with 23 digs while teammate Sarah Emrey finished the day with seven kills.
Baylor is now 2-0 for the young season while Red Bank is now 1-2 and Boyd-Buchanan 0-2.
Here are the combined stats from both matches for all three teams.
Greyson Ingle -- 1 kill, .5 block;
Kate Kaufman -- 2 kills;
Katherine Robbins -- 6 digs, 1 ace;
Jane Wilson -- 4 kills, 1 dig, .5 block;
Haven Bethune -- 6 aces, 2 kills, 26 assists, 5 digs, 1 block;
Cassie Elrod -- 2 aces, 4 digs;
Lilly Turner -- 2 aces, 9 digs, 16 kills;
Gabby Gray -- 18 kills, 10 digs, 2 aces, 1 block;
Ashleigh Cook -- 3 kills, 1 block;
Lexy Hellerstedt -- 2 kills, 4 digs;
Abby Hubert -- 1 kill;
Rachel Ford -- 1 ace, 12 kills, 5 digs.
Sarah Emrey -- 7 kills;
Katie Delay -- 23 digs;
Asia Kirkman -- 8 kills;
Kristen Reynolds -- 4 kills, 8 assists;
Halie Williamson -- 5 assists.
Abby Graham -- 5 digs, 13 assists;
Kiki Adkins -- 5 digs;
Autumn Babb -- 8 digs;
Caitlyn Jenkins -- 2 kills;
Hannah Wilson -- 4 aces, 8 digs;
Dani Usher -- 2 kills;
Jasmine Simpson -- 4 kills;
Marjorie Smith -- 5 kills, 2 blocks.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)