There was a classic high school volleyball match at Baylor Monday night where the Signal Mountain Lady Eagles improved to 17-5 with the 3-1 victory.
Set scores were 25-20, 25-14, 21-25 and 25-17.
The Lady Eagles may have the best team in Hamilton County right now as they’re clicking on all cylinders. These same two teams played on Saturday at Soddy Daisy in the River City Rumble with the Lady Eagles winning then too, so Monday’s win wasn’t a fluke by any stretch.
The Lady Eagles have a really good team with a number of young ladies who can hit it as hard as anybody around. They played two matches following the one with Baylor on Saturday and finished second in the Gold division, but the match on Monday was the big one.
Signal Mountain coach Jennifer Redman, who took a few years away from the job with the Lady Eagles when her oldest daughter Elaine was playing at Baylor, was just happy with how her team played in a really tough environment where Baylor very rarely loses.
Monday’s loss was Baylor’s first at home this season after winning eight in a row.
“I’m just so happy as we really played well tonight,” said Redman shortly after the four-set match ended.
“Every player on my team had a job to do and that all did them really well. We had a specific game plan and I liked how well we followed it as we wanted to shift our blockers and hitters up front.
“Our setters did a great job getting the ball in the right spot. We knew this would be a tough match, but we did exactly what we needed to do to win and I couldn’t be happier.
“I thought we were a bit more focused than we were on Saturday, but we came in here ready to play. Now I can take a deep breath, but this is 100 percent for sure our best match of the season. Everything we’ve been working on came through tonight and I’m just thrilled,” the veteran coach added.
While Signal Mountain improves to 17-5 with the win, Baylor is now 16-7. Coach Sarah Lail hates losing as much as anyone, but she was really upbeat and happy with the way her team battled back after not playing so well at the start.
“We knew it would be a battle as Signal Mountain has a really good team and they just have so many weapons,” Lail began following the match.
“They pretty much had their way with us in those first two sets, but I really challenged my girls and liked how they responded as they just kept battling and were able to make a match out of it. We had trouble getting around their blocks at times, but I liked how we just kept battling.
“I’m glad that we could play them on Saturday as it gave us an upclose look at just what we were facing. But they have so many different players who can beat you and I feel confident that they will be the team to beat in their division at the state tournament.
“Matches with teams like them will only make us get better as there a lot of teams in our division who are tall and athletic like that, so a match like this should help us on down the road,” Lail concluded with a smile.
The first set was extremely close and competitive as there were six ties and two lead changes in the first 20 points.
A kill from Dillia Lowry gave the Lady Eagles the upper hand at 11-10 while six straight service points from Emily Redman allowed Signal to build a 16-10 lead.
Baylor never regained the lead in that set and only got within three points three times before the Lady Eagles won the first set on a Baylor service error.
Back-to-back kills from Lowry allowed the Lady Eagles to score five of the first six points in the second set and Baylor never really recovered.
Lail called timeouts when her team was trailing 9-4 and again when it was 19-11, but nothing seemed to work as the Lady Eagles had an answer for everything Baylor threw at them.
A kill from Redman allowed the Lady Eagles to take a 2-0 lead, but this match was a long way from over.
The third set was much like the first as it was nip-and-tuck for most of the way. Back-to-back kills from Mia Kinney allowed Baylor to knot the score at 11-11 for the fifth tie at that point before a kill from Redman and three straight service points from Becca Rogers put the visitors up 15-11.
An ace from Franny Brooksbank allowed Baylor to regain the lead at 19-18. Two kills from Rogers knotted the score for the last time at 21-21.
A block by Addie Margio put Baylor up 23-21 while a kill by the slender senior kept the Lady Red Raiders alive with the third-set win.
Baylor was playing its best at this point and built a 7-3 lead at the start of the fourth set, but they just couldn’t sustain it.
Four straight service points by Carlee Lowry, including three kills from Rogers, put the Lady Eagles up 8-7 while four more service points from Dillia Lowry put the visitors up 13-8.
Back-to-back kills from Baylor’s Bailey Shahan and Margio knotted the score at 14-14 while Kinney and Emma Mulvaney did the same a minute later to make it 16-16.
It was never close again as the Lady Eagles finished the match by scoring nine of the final 10 points, the match winner on a kill from Addy Jones.
There were a number of outstanding players for the Lady Eagles, including Redman, who finished with 28 digs, eight kills, five aces and four assists. Dillia Lowry had 11 kills and a dozen digs while younger sister Carlee had 16 digs, 14 assists and nine kills.
Elle Ramsey had 25 assists and six digs while Rogers finished with 25 digs and 13 kills.
Kinney led Baylor with 10 kills and 19 digs while Sydney Sharpe also played well and finished the match with 38 assists, 14 digs, two kills and an ace. Brooksbank was also impressive with 23 digs and a pair of aces.
The Lady Eagles face another good team on Tuesday when they travel down to East Third Street to face the CSAS Lady Patriots. Baylor will also be in action on Tuesday with a road match at Chattanooga Christian.
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN STATS:
Emily Redman – 5 aces, 8 kills, 28 digs, 4 assists, 2 blocks
Addy Jones – 1 block, 3 digs, 6 kills
Dillia Lowry – 2 aces, 11 kills, 12 digs, 4 blocks
Amelia Bustamante – 9 digs
Carlee Lowry – 16 digs, 3 blocks, 14 assists, 9 kills
Elle Ramsey – 25 assists, 6 digs
Becca Rogers – 25 digs, 2 blocks, 13 kills
Sydney Smith – 4 kills.
Rory Oleksik – 1 dig
Franny Brooksbank – 2 aces, 23 digs
Addie Margio – 7 kills, 2 digs, 2 blocks
Maggie Hansen – 7 kills, 6 digs, 1 block
Bailey Shahan – 6 kills, 4 digs, 2 blocks
Sydney Sharpe – 2 kills 1 ace, 38 assists, 14 digs
Emma Mulvaney – 6 kills, 2 digs, 1 block
Jessy Blevins – 2 aces, 12 digs
Mia Kinney – 10 kills, 19 digs
Kaylee Snyder – 5 digs.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)