Baylor Wins State Volleyball Title

Sarah Sumida MVP As Lady Raiders Beat Briarcrest, 3-1

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - by John Hunt
Baylor's Sarah Sumida was named Most Valuable Player of the DII-AA championship match as she led the Lady Red Raiders to a 3-1 win over defending champ Briarcrest Thursday afternoon at MTSU's Murphy Center in Murfreesboro. The senior setter finished the match with 7 kills, 1 ace, 39 assists and 17 digs.
Baylor's Sarah Sumida was named Most Valuable Player of the DII-AA championship match as she led the Lady Red Raiders to a 3-1 win over defending champ Briarcrest Thursday afternoon at MTSU's Murphy Center in Murfreesboro. The senior setter finished the match with 7 kills, 1 ace, 39 assists and 17 digs.
- photo by Dennis Norwood

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – There were tears on both sides of the court at MTSU’s Murphy Center Thursday afternoon.

There were tears of relief and joy for the Baylor Lady Red Raiders while the tears for the Briarcrest Lady Saints represented heartbreak and disappointment.

Such is the case when two really good volleyball teams meet for the second straight year for a D-II Class AA state title.

Briarcrest won last year, but 2017 belonged to Baylor, an outstanding team without a superstar who improved to 42-5 with its third straight win here this week.

Baylor won Thursday’s championship match by a 3-1 score, winning the first two sets by scores of 25-20 and 25-11 before the Lady Saints came back to win the third, 25-17. 

Then in the fourth, the Lady Saints had a 23-20 lead late and a fifth set looked like a real possibility, but Baylor had other plans and won 26-24 after scoring six of the last seven points.

Thursday’s title was Baylor’s fourth overall and second for current head coach Sarah Lail after her team won in 2014.

“This is such an unbelievable feeling, but our motto all year has been FAMILY, which stands for Forget About Me I Love You,” said Lail after the championship hardware had been passed out.

“We have seven superstars and another seven great ones in support, but what another great team effort it was.  It was all about heart and desire and our refusing to lose.  We knew we needed to stay on the attack as we didn’t want any doubts creeping into our heads.

“We were on today and had a great start.  Even in the third set when we lost, we played well.  But this has been a special group since the first day and I couldn’t be more proud of the way we finished,” Lail added.

The Lady Saints had to come through the losers bracket to earn a spot in Thursday’s championship match, but they were able to beat Brentwood Academy in a 3-2 match on Wednesday and appeared ready go challenge the Baylor girls.

The Lady Saints may not be quite as high powered as they were last year, but they’re still pretty darn good.  They just ran into a Baylor team that was just a tad bit better this time around.

Briarcrest coach Carla Anderton gave Baylor a lot of credit for playing a great match, but she felt like her own team’s slow start certainly didn’t help.

“What a match,” she began after her team fell to 34-8 for the season.

“Baylor was the better team today, but we struggled out of the gate.  We needed for our entire team to be on today and we weren’t, but we finished well.  Unfortunately, we came up a little bit short,” she expressed.

Baylor senior Sarah Sumida, who’s been a major contributor for the past five years, was selected as the tournament MVP after recording 39 assists, 17 digs and seven kills.  She’ll be playing at Tennessee Tech next fall.

“That was so much fun as everyone did their job,” Sumida said while sharing the experience with family and friends on the upper level of Murphy Center.

“I felt like this was one of our best matches this season and I can’t describe just how happy I am,” she continued.

And what was the message from coach Lail when the last timeout was called in the fourth set and Baylor was trailing 24-22?

“She just reminded us that it was now or never,  but we never lost our positive attitude the whole time.  We knew what we had to do and who we had to block.  We were able to get the job done,” Sumida added.

Baylor bolted to a 5-0 lead in the first set and never trailed. 

Briarcrest tied the score one time at 11-11 on a kill from Alyiah Wells, but Baylor slowly pulled away to win the set with Sarah Barker’s block being the winning point.

The Lady Red Raiders got off to another great start in the second set as a 4-0 lead stretched to 12-4 before Briarcrest called a timeout. The Lady Saints called their second time with Baylor leading 20-9 and the set was over shortly afterward following two kills from Lexie Laurendine and one from Zoe Ubamadu.

Most of the third set belonged to Briarcrest as Baylor’s only lead came early at 3-2.  A kill from Wells put the Lady Saints on the board as momentum temporarily shifted to their side.

The Lady Saints continued their inspired play in the fourth set and took a 5-1 lead at the start.  Barker and Sumida combined for a block to help Baylor tie the score at 14-14 but Briarcrest quickly regained the lead and was ahead 20-17 when Lail called her first timeout.

The second timeout for Baylor came on set point as they trailed 24-22, but somehow and someway, everything changed after that.

Laurendine’s kill made it 24-23 before a tip from Rogers knotted the score.  Ally Craig’s ace gave Baylor a one-point lead and caused Anderton to call a timeout.

That didn’t slow the Baylor express as the Lady Raiders claimed the title when a Briarcrest return came up short in the net.

Craig had 16 kills for Baylor while Rogers finished with 12 and Laurendine 10.  Sumida had 39 assists while Elizabeth Case had three aces.  Sumida led with 17 digs while Case had 11.  Craig and Rogers both finished with 10.

Wells was the leader for Briarcrest with 17 kills while Carsyn Starr had 14.  Cade Stewart had 36 assists while Hannah Cox had 19 digs.

BAYLOR STATS:

Elizabeth Case – 1 assist, 3 aces, 11 digs

Sarah Sumida --   7 kills, 39 assists, 1 ace, 17 digs

Hayden Barton – 1 assist, 4 digs

Zoe Ubamadu – 4 kills, 1 assist, 3 digs

Ally Craig – 16 kills, 1 assist, 10 digs

Denver Rogers – 12 kills, 10 digs

Sarah Barker – 5 kills, 1 assist

Maddy Tindall – 1 ace

Laura Kate May – 3 assists, 6 digs

Lexie Laurendine – 10 kills, 1 dig.

(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)

 

Baylor's Ally Craig slams home a kill against Briarcrest in the DII-AA championship match Thursday afternoon in Murfreesboro. The Lady Red Raiders defeated the Lady saints 3-1 to claim the tournament hardware. Craig had 16 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace and 10 digs.
Baylor's Ally Craig slams home a kill against Briarcrest in the DII-AA championship match Thursday afternoon in Murfreesboro. The Lady Red Raiders defeated the Lady saints 3-1 to claim the tournament hardware. Craig had 16 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace and 10 digs.
- photo by Dennis Norwood

PREP SCHEDULES

PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SCORES

Covenant's Smith First To Run In NCAA Cross-Country Championships


PREP BASKETBALL SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 Walker Valley at William Blount (HoF) Walker Valley vs. Campbell Co. (HoF) MBA at East Hamilton Cumberland Co. at Cleveland Cleveland at ... (click for more)

TSSAA State Quarterfinals: Division I Class 1A: Whitwell 34 S. Pittsburg 28 FINAL 2OT Class 2A: Meigs County 42 S. Green 14 FINAL Class 3A Upperman 50 Red Bank ... (click for more)

Covenant women's cross country senior Lilly Smith capped her incredible cross country career with another record as she set a program mark and finished 104th overall at the NCAA Division III ... (click for more)


Sports

PREP SCHEDULES

PREP BASKETBALL SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 Walker Valley at William Blount (HoF) Walker Valley vs. Campbell Co. (HoF) MBA at East Hamilton Cumberland Co. at Cleveland Cleveland at Knoxville Webb PREP WRESTLING MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19 Howard at East Ridge TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 Polk Co. at East Ridge Hixson at Stone Memorial WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER ... (click for more)

PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SCORES

TSSAA State Quarterfinals: Division I Class 1A: Whitwell 34 S. Pittsburg 28 FINAL 2OT Class 2A: Meigs County 42 S. Green 14 FINAL Class 3A Upperman 50 Red Bank 21 FINAL Division II MUS 10 McCallie 7 FINAL (click for more)

Breaking News

Attorneys Ask Lifting Of Home Confinement For Hazelwood After Higher Court Allows Him To Stay Out During Appeal; Government Is Opposed

Attorneys for former Pilot Travel Centers president Mark Hazelwood are asking Judge Curtis Collier for the lifting of his home confinement after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said he could remain out during his appeal. In the alternative, the attorneys ask that he be able to leave his Knoxville home between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The motion also requests that Hazelwood be ... (click for more)

Tyner Man Arrested When Woman Finds Him With Items From Home Of Her Deceased Parents

A Tyner man has been arrested after police said a woman found him at the home of her deceased parents. J.C. Donaldson, 32, of 7239 Tyner Road, is charged with aggravated burglary. The woman said she found a white Buick in her parents' driveway. She said she called her sister to ask if it was her, but she said it was not. She ran into Donaldson, who told her that someone ... (click for more)

Opinion

Bring Jeff Styles Back Now That His Case Was Dismissed

Now that prosecutors have dropped charges against Jeff Styles — and he's not been found guilty by a jury of his peers — I hope Bill Lockhart and WGOW will return him to the station. I'm believe his listeners will welcome him back with open arms. After one has been through a ringer like this, I'm not sure how you get your life back unless a good guy like Mr. Lockhart steps up ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The 2018 Turkey Edition

We are less than a week away from Thanksgiving so today we are going to take a tiny turn away from regular Saturday Funnies to give way to our 2018 Turkey Edition Special. The idea is for this year’s Turkey edition to help you be the first invited for “seconds” in honor and recognition of your marvelous wit. Actually, this setup is remarkably easy. Early next week you next begin ... (click for more)