Three tough sets into their trip to the 2012 TSSAA Class A state tournament - and down two sets to one - Boyd-Buchanan's Lady Buccaneers were one loss away from being dropped to the losers bracket. But five sparkling sets later, the Lady Bucs are in the winners-bracket final.
Boyd-Buchanan came back and beat Knoxville's Grace Christian 3-2 before moving on and defeating Madison 3-0.
The Lady Bucs in their last five sets Wednesday at Middle Tennessee State University outscored their opponents 115-65. The set scores in their first match were 21-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-11, 15-5. Against Madison they were 25-20, 25-18, 25-11.
Boyd-Buchanan (32-13) will take on last year's champion Friendship Christian (55-4) today at Blackman at 2 p.m. EDT.
Boyd-Buchanan coach Ashley Rose said the turnaround actually started one set earlier than it appears.
"The third game against Grace I looked up and it was like 19-10 their way," Rose said. "I thought 'Oh my gosh. This is getting ridiculuous.' I think I had already burned my two timeouts. In my mind I had put that game behind me. Then I turned around and we scored something like the next 11 points and nearly came back and won. You could see the momentum just flip."
Katie Delay sparked Boyd-Buchanan in its two matches with 56 digs and 10 aces. Maddy Howard led the hitting with 27 kills and Lindsey Yates and Kristen Reynolds combined for 79 assists.
• Division II-AA: At MTSU, Baylor defeated Battle Ground Academy 3-2 by set scores of 25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-9. Lady Raiders coach Sarah Lail said there weren't many large leads at any point either way.
Baylor (35-12) will play East/Middle Region champion Harpeth Hall (28-7) in today's winners-bracket final at 12:30 EDT at Siegel.
The Lady Raiders had a more difficult time than when they beat the Lady Wildcats 3-0 in the regular season. But Lail noted the match then was the first since missing nearly three weeks with an ankle sprain for all-state hitter Rachel Travis and added her team was on an emotional high then.
Travis's 20 kills, 21 digs, two blocks and three aces were all team-highs Wednesday. Madeline Rose helped with 19 kills and Megan Kaylor led with 30 assists.
"BGA has a great defense," Lail said. "They picked up a lot of balls. I thought we served well, and kept the ball in play. I was hoping we would hit when we had the opportunities and we did."
• Class AA: At Blackman, East Hamilton worked its way to the winners-bracket final with a 3-0 win over Dyersburg and a 3-2 victory over Christian Academy of Knoxville. Set scores in the first match were 25-15, 25-21, 25-16 and scores in the second match were 25-19, 25-15, 19-25, 18-25, 15-12.
East Hamilton (35-18) plays Goodpasture (43-3) today at MTSU at 2 p.m. EDT. The Lady Cougars beat Red Bank 3-0 in their opening match by set scores of 25-15, 25-22, 25-14.
Leaders for the Lady Hurricanes on the day were Kylie Scruggs with 23 kills, Briley Considine with 7.5 blocks, Morgan Phillips with 24 digs, Emma Lenoir with 30 assists and Sydney Harris with six aces.
Red Bank played Chester County in a late match.
Shelby Hayes led the Lionettes against Goodpasture with 12 kills and 15 digs. Abby Graham led with 20 assists.
• Class AAA: At Siegel, Ooltewah defeated Columbia Central 3-2 by set scores of 20-25, 25-17, 25-14, 18-25, 15-12 before losing 3-1 to Brentwood High. Scores in that match were 13-25, 25-14, 25-12.
Ooltewah (36-19) will play either Bearden or Houston today at MTSU at 12:30 p.m. EDT.
Leondra Barrett totaled 24 kills in the Lady Owls' matches and Courtlyn Ison had 11.5 blocks. Kelsey Chernak had team-highs of 53 assists and 32 digs. Against Columbia, Izabela Zdunek had seven kills, seven blocks, 16 digs, four aces and three assists.