Baylor Overcomes Slow Start To Take Volleyball Win At East Hamilton

Coach: Lady Hurricanes Missing "Fire In Their Eyes" In Pink Out Match

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

Baylor took East Hamilton’s early shot to the gut and rebounded with three haymakers.

The visiting Lady Red Raiders, who fell behind in the first set, stormed back to sweep the Lady Hurricanes, 3-0, in a non-league volleyball match on Thursday.  

“East Hamilton is definitely a good team,” Baylor coach Sarah Lail said. “We had to adjust to what they were doing, but once we got into our offense I felt pretty comfortable getting the ball to our hitters. It just took us a while to get in the swing of things.”

Once Baylor (33-7) got on track East Hamilton was in trouble and the Lady Red Raiders rolled to the 25-21, 25-16 and 25-19 victory in the season’s “Pink Out” match for the Lady Hurricanes.

Lail called a timeout when East Hamilton built its 6-0 first-set lead and her quick coach-speak lifted her team out of it doldrums.

“I told them we were getting beat on tips and rolls,” she said. “If a team is going to beat us I want them to do it by doing something that’s tough. I told them to regroup, get focused, dig deep, play disciplined volleyball and get out there and play the Baylor game we know how to play.

“They responded well.”

East Hamilton coach Kristy Lenoir, obviously, noticed Baylor’s rebound. What she didn’t see was her players match Baylor’s gumption.

“We didn’t respond,” she said. “I was happy the way we started the first and third games, but we just went flat. Baylor is a very good team that has won a lot of ballgames and you cannot go flat against them at any time.”

Once Baylor got on a roll, the Lady Hurricanes (21-16) seemed emotionally challenged for much of the match.

“We have to play at an emotional high,” Lenoir said. “I told my girls I should see something in everybody’s eyes and I didn’t see that today. You can’t beat a good team if you don’t have that fire in your eyes. That was the difference.”

In the opening set, Baylor slowly got back into the thick of it, but still trailed 17-10. Baylor outscored the hosts 8-1, capped by junior Lexy Hellerstedt’s slam, to tie the set. Senior Rachel Ford’s soft, well-placed spot shot gave Baylor its first lead and another winner to cap what turned out to be a 10-1 spree produced a two-point advantage.

Freshman Gabby Gray’s kill was the set’s clinching point.

“We started off really slow because the tips and rolls were getting us at the beginning,” said Ford, who had 10 kills and eight digs. “After we came together, we were able to put some balls down, come back to get the lead and that was fun.”

Baylor never trailed in the second set.

The Lady Raiders were up 10-7 and freshman Jane Wilson blocked Emma Lenoir’s kill at the net and Lenoir’s next shot sailed long to give Baylor a 12-7 advantage.

Baylor stretched the lead to 22-14 and Wilson’s block of another Lenoir shot at the net ended the set.

Lenoir, the sophomore daughter of the Lady Hurricanes coach, had a kill, a perfectly placed spot shot, Baylor had an error at the net, Lenoir came up with another soft-touch winner and senior Brenna Shaw added a service point to give East Hamilton a 5-1 margin.

The Lady Hurricanes, known more for their power attack, were back to mixing up the offense to slow Baylor’s assault.

Lenoir, whose power kills have the zing of a Hellfire missile, dropped in another two-handed marshmallow and East Hamilton was up 9-7 in the final set. Minutes later she duplicated the shot and the lead was 14-9.

“We tip balls for sure,” coach Lenoir said. “This isn’t the first time we’ve done that. Typically, we do change things up.”

Emma Lenoir had 21 kills, 31 digs and seven assists to lead the Lady Hurricanes.

Baylor was prepared to see a power display from the Lady Hurricanes, though.

“They’re known for players who can really hit the ball hard,” Ford said. “We were expecting that, so it took us aback when they started tipping and rolling. We had to adjust to that.”

East Hamilton’s Briley Considine, a senior, ripped a kill-point for an 18-14 lead, but the Lady Raiders reeled off seven straight points to gain a 20-18 advantage.

A Baylor miscue stopped the run, but the Lady Raiders closed out the match with four straight points, the last coming on a Ford kill.

STATISTICS

Baylor

Haven Bethune – 36 assists, 17 digs, 3 aces, 1 kill, 1 block

Gabby Gray – 13 kills, 11 digs, 4 aces, 1 block

Greyson Ingle – 4 kills, 1 block, 1 dig

Rachel Ford – 10 kills, 8 digs

Lexy Hellerstedt – 6 kills, 2 digs

Lilly Turner – 10 digs, 2 aces

Katherine Robbins – 6 digs

Jane Wilson – 3 kills

Kate Kaufman – 1 kill

Cassie Elrod – 1 dig

Sarah Sumida – 1 ace

East Hamilton

Sydney Harris – 27 assists, 15 digs

Briley Considine – 3 kills, 1 ace, 6 digs

Miranda Roberson – 1 kill, 1 dig

Samantha Headrick – 5 digs

Emma Lenoir – 21 kills, 31 digs, 7 assists

Somer Batten – 5 kills, 1 ace, 1 dig

Meredith Stott – 4 kills, .5 blocks

Brenna Shaw – 1 dig, 1 ace

Kris Joo – 17 digs

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)


Lee Men Claim 6-3 Tennis Victory In Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Lee University men’s tennis team swept the doubles competition and won three singles matches on their way to a 6-3 over The University of Alabama in Huntsville Wednesday afternoon. The Flames improved to 7-3 overall and evened its record at 2-2 in the Gulf South Conference. UAH dropped to 5-12 and 0-5 in conference play. “Road matches are all tough in ... (click for more)

Scots Tennis Falls In Thriller To Piedmont

In a tight match featuring two teams that came into the day undefeated in conference play, the Covenant men's tennis team fell 5-4 to USA South foe Piedmont  on Wednesday  evening at the Covenant Tennis Complex. The loss was the first in USA South play for the Scots (6-7, 2-1 USA South). Piedmont (5-6, 3-0 USA South) remains in first place in the West Division ... (click for more)

City Council Winner Anthony Byrd Told He Cannot Continue Working At The County And Be On City Post; Resigns At Criminal Court Clerk's Office

Anthony Byrd, who upset City Council Chairman Moses Freeman in the District 8 council race, has been told that under the city charter he cannot remain on his county job and hold the city post. Mr. Byrd has worked in the Criminal Court Clerk's office for the past 22 years. Criminal Court Clerk Vince Dean said Mr. Byrd got the news of the ruling on Tuesday. He said, "No one ... (click for more)

Judges Say Judge Bales Has Not Signed Letter To Governor On Medical Disability; They Can't Find Him

General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes said fellow Judge David Bales apparently has not yet signed a letter to the governor saying he plans to take medical disability. Judge Starnes said, "We can't reach him. He does not answer any of our calls or texts." He added, "We are concerned about his well-being." Judge Bales last Friday, after a sit-down meeting with the other ... (click for more)

Repeal Obamacare, Congressman Fleischmann - And Response

Chuck: I'm writing to express my strong opposition to the plan that is being rolled out by Paul Ryan to replace Obamacare. And as I'm writing this, I'm remembering all the times you and all of your Republican colleagues over the last six years campaigned on REPEALING  Obamacare and used that call to action as the basis for your reelection. And I'm also remembering the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: You, The Bald-Headed Lady

You were wearing a pretty sweat shirt and blue jeans when I saw you outside the Infusion Center at Erlanger Hospital on Wednesday. You were the one who was nearly bald and I was the guy you greeted with a huge smile as we said hello in passing. You reminded me exactly of my brother Franklin. Years ago when chemotherapy began to rob him of his hair, Franklin was pretty devastated ... (click for more)