It was a matter of do or die for three Chattanooga volleyball teams as they all played quarterfinal-round matches for the state tournament on the road. Two of those three teams won and will play opening-round matches on Tuesday.
It was a good day for the Baylor Lady Red Raiders as they swept Father Ryan to hand the Lady Purple Irish their first loss after 10 straight wins.
Baylor improves to 10-4 with the 25-19, 25-19 and 25-22 victory.
Chattanooga Christian went to Knoxville where a successful season ended for the Lady Chargers in a sweep against Knoxville Catholic.
The Lady Chargers finished their season at 16-9 following Saturday’s 25-20, 25-15 and 25-22 setback.
Notre Dame had the longest trip of the day with a trek to Memphis, but it was all worth the time and effort as the Lady Irish advanced with a 3-0 sweep of Evangelical Christian, Notre Dame winning a not-so-close match by scores of 25-11, 25-18 and 25-16.
“It was another all-around team effort as these young ladies really stepped up and did their job,” said Baylor coach Sarah Lail while she was driving home Saturday afternoon.
“Father Ryan has been a strong program for a long time and it’s always a huge battle when we play them, but I really felt like we played well today. We were fresh and healthy and ready to compete when the match began.
“We really feel good about today and the direction we’re heading. We just have to keep it rolling. I’ve been Baylor’s coach for 12 years and this will be our 12th trip to the state tournament, so I’m really proud of that.
“We have some really outstanding players who seem to get most of the publicity, but we also had some who really contributed today. Nadia Sixto and Sierra Herndon both played really well and Morgan Sharp played out of her mind after just getting promoted from the JV team. Now we have to get ready for Murfreesboro,” Lail added.
Senior standout Elaine Redman had her usual outstanding match and finished with nine kills, 16 assists, four blocks and 13 digs. Herndon had eight kills and four blocks while Sixto was credited with five kills and three digs. Sharpe added seven digs.
It was a tough day all around for Chattanooga Christian and first-year head coach Brittney Berube as Saturday’s match was the final day on the volleyball court for eight CCS seniors. Catholic had finished as the state runner-up a year ago, so the Lady Chargers knew they were in for a tough match.
“There was certainly a lot of emotion for all of those seniors as they were worried this might be their last match,” Berube suggested afterward.
“We know that Catholic has an outstanding team, but we just didn’t perform as well as we could have. But we had a tremendous season as these young ladies bought into what I coached them to do and we made some huge strides. Today’s loss was a tough one, but it certainly doesn’t define our season,” she added.
A.J. Johnson finished the day and her prep career with five kills and nine digs while Lauren Kay added 13 digs. Avery Ray had a pair of blocks to go along with four kills and a dig.
Notre Dame’s season ended a year ago with a similar trip to Memphis against St. George’s, but history didn’t repeat itself this time around.
“I thought we played well as we had a good game plan and were able to execute it for the most part,” said Notre Dame coach Dan Clotfelter early Saturday evening.
“I thought we served and passed well and that’s always one of our goals, but I really thought we played well as a team. It’s always nice for the season to succeed even when certain individuals don’t play their best.
“It was great to have a balanced offensive attack. McKenna (Brown) was her normal self with 16 kills, but Peyton Woody (nine kills) and Lindsey Burns (seven kills) also played well. ECS had to respect all our hitters and that made everyone’s job a little easier.
“Riley McCormick had a monster day at libero for us. We learned a new defense in practice last week and she led us with 20 digs.
“Mary Fillauer was a great setter today with 35 assists, but more importantly, she spread the offense around. She makes it hard for our opponent to figure out what they want to try and stop,” the veteran coach added.
While the state pairings have already been posted for the public schools, Baylor and Notre Dame will know for sure who they play next when those pairings are announced sometime Sunday.
Sale Creek will play at Stewart's Creek in Smyrna while Signal Mountain and East Hamilton will be competing at Blackman in Murfreesboro. Baylor and Notre Dame will both be playing at Middle Tennessee Christian, which is also in Murfreesboro.
Elaine Redman – 9 kills, 16 assists, 4 blocks, 13 digs
Sierra Herndon – 8 kills, 4 blocks, 2 digs, 3 aces
Holland Moss – 6 kills, 1 block, 1 dig
Tess Margio – 8 kills, 2 blocks
Elli Kinney – 2 kills, 1 assist, 5 digs
Nadia Sixto – 5 kills, 3 digs
Libby May – 14 assists, 5 digs, 1 ace
Emma Gray – 18 digs
Morgan Sharpe – 7 digs.
NOTRE DAME STATS:
McKenna Brown – 16 kills, 12 digs, 3 aces
Regan Wolf – 2 kills, 1.5 blocks
Beth Voges – 1 kill, 3 blocks
Maggie Fillauer – 5 digs, 1 ace
Lindsey Burns – 7 kills, 7 digs, 2 aces
Riley McCormick – 20 digs, 4 aces
Mary Fillauer – 35 assists, 2 aces, 7 digs
Emmeline Crisp – 2 kills, 1.5 blocks
Peyton Woody – 9 kills, 5 digs
Madeline Solis – 5 digs.
CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN STATS:
Lauren Kay – 14 digs, 3 aces
A.J. Johnson – 5 kills, 2 blocks, 10 digs
Emily Day – 4 kills, 6 digs, 15 assists
Kayla Youell – 3 kills, 2 blocks
Avery Ray – 4 kills, 2 blocks, 1 dig
Kennedy Barber -- 2 kills, 1 block, 2 digs
Lauren Day -- 4 digs
Hannah Blevins -- 1 ace, 2 digs
Annie Johnston -- 8 digs.
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Kennedy Barber – 2 kills, 1 block2 digs.
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