MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Like a prize fight, the Baylor and GPS tennis teams traded punches Wednesday in the finals of the Division II-AA state tournament.
The Bruisers landed the first shot, by claiming a point in doubles, but early in the singles matches, Baylor had countered with a shot of their own.
GPS responded with a haymaker that ultimately leveled the Lady Red Raiders.
Coach Sue Bartlett's team fell behind a set in each of their top two singles' matches, but both Sarah Evans and Bronte Goodhue rallied to claim important victories. Goodhue's 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Erika Marschall at No. 2 singles wrapped up GPS's 4-2 victory, giving the team their 10th state championship.
"It's an awesome feeling," Goodhue said. "Erika played amazing today -- she played different and starting using more lobs and trying to move me around, so I had to turn the tables, move her around and start dominating points."
Marschall had a double fault to end the match, sending the GPS team on the court in a frenzy.
"When I won, I saw all the girls coming out," Goodhue said. "It was exciting."
Said Bartlett: "Sarah and Bronte knew what they needed to do. They had been here before, rose to the occasion and dug out the win - a mark of a true champion."
GPS claimed wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, with Evans and Aliza Williams taking an 8-2 victory, while Goodhue and Emma McCallie won 8-6 over Samantha Caswell and McCall Morgan. Goodhue and McCallie led 7-1, but watched the Baylor duo rally before claiming the win.
Baylor then took the first two wins in singles, with Sarah Berchuck and Maggie Crumbliss getting wins. The Bruisers tied the match at two when Williams had a win at No. 4 singles, then took the lead with Evans' win.
McCallie and Baylor's Katie Thornton were tied 4-each in the third set when the match was called.
"We played unbelievable in doubles," Bartlett said. "Baylor came right back -- it's hard when you've beat a team twice -- and played great in singles. I thought we played well and hung it out."
* In Division II-A, St. Andrews-Sewanee (13-4) fell 4-0 to Knoxville Webb.