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Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / Baylor's Holland Moss, center, high-fives Tess Margio before Thursday night's match at Chattanooga Christian School.
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Baylor sweeps Chattanooga Christian in region volleyball opener

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With perfect sets flying her way, Baylor junior Elaine Redman hit the volleyball down with extreme power and precision Thursday night at Chattanooga Christian School.

Redman helped seal a dominant performance by the Lady Red Raiders as she made nine of her 15 kills in the final set of a 25-13, 25-11, 25-20 win in the Division II-AA East Region opener for both teams.

"This is the hardest we have come out this season," Redman said. "We came out strong from the beginning and really used our advantage in the middle well. My teammates had great sets, and our serving was spot-on throughout."

Baylor (8-1) wasted no time building momentum as Tess Margio timed her leap for a big block that fired up her team and gave it a 10-3 lead in the first set.

Libby May landed back-to-back aces, with the second one rolling over the net to a spot where no one was waiting. Baylor, the DII-AA state runner-up in 2018, only made two mistakes from the service line in the match.

Sierra Herndon was a force to reckon with in the opening set, too, as she had three kills and a block — she leads Baylor in blocks with 32 this season — and Margio finished the first and second sets with kills.

"Our middles do a very good job of making the other team have to respect them and their game," Baylor coach Sarah Lail said. "By doing so, it frees up our pin hitters to do some things. As the match went on, things opened up for Elaine, who is a dominant player and can put the ball away."

Summer Jones was a spark plug for the Lady Chargers (8-3) when needed, finishing with eight kills, and Lauren Day dug out a pair of fierce strikes on the back line.

Avery Ray also landed big hits in the third set for CCS, which hung in but couldn't deny Redman, who has 115 kills this season.

She's not counting, though.

"I just want to win," she said. "I don't care about how many kills I get. We need to come out every game with the fire to win. When we are on, we are on. But we have to have energy like we did tonight all the time."

Baylor's next region match is Wednesday at rival GPS.

"We are going to focus on the things we can control," Lail said. "We can control our serves, our energy and our talk. I thought we did well on those tonight and got a great region win. Those first two sets were a complete team effort."

Contact Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.

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