Notre Dame cruised into the TSSAA Division II-A volleyball state semifinals with a sweep of Evangelical Christian School on Saturday night in Memphis, 25-11, 25-18, 25-16.
The Lady Fighting Irish (30-4) are in a state final four for the first time since 2006, when they beat Knoxville Catholic in five sets to win the Class A/AA title. The tournament starts Tuesday at Middle Tennessee Christian School in Murfreesboro.
Coach Dan Clotfelter's team was led by Riley McCormick's stellar defense, and McKenna Brown, Peyton Woody and Lindsey Burns combined for 32 kills. Brown led all with 16 kills.
"Riley had a monster day at libero for us," Clotfelter said. "We learned a new defense in practice last week, and she led our defense and gave us 20 digs.
"It was great to have a balanced offensive attack. McKenna was her normal self, but Peyton and Lindsey were strong from the right side. Mary was great at setter, too, with 35 assists, but more importantly she spread the offense around."
Beth Voges stood out with three blocks, and McCormick led the team with four aces.
* Baylor made the DII-AA state tournament for a 12th consecutive year with a sweep of Father Ryan, 25-19, 25-18, 25-22. Elaine Redman had nine kills, 16 assists and 13 digs, and she and Sierra Herndon each had four blocks. Herndon also had eight kills and three digs, Holland Moss and Tess Margio combined for 14 kills, and Emma Gray (18 digs) and Libby May (14 assists) also stood out for coach Sarah Lail's team.
* Chattanooga Christian's season ended in the quarterfinals with a loss to Knoxville Catholic, 25-20, 25-15, 25-22. The Lady Chargers were led by Emily Day (15 assists, four kills), Lauren Kay (14 digs, three aces), AJ Johnson (five kills, 10 digs, two blocks), Kayla Youell (three kills, two blocks) and Annie Johnston (eight digs).
* In Georgia, Heritage beat Northwest Whitfield for the Region 7-AAAA title in five sets, 25-22, 15-25, 16-25, 25-21, 15-8. Kallie Carter had 14 kills and four blocks, and Aaliyah Rodgers added 10 kills and six digs. Lauren Francis (region player of the year), Anna Wilks and Carter were all-region first-team selections, while Kari Cooper won region coach of the year.
Baylor 4, Pope Jon Paul II 1: Aliya Cooper had a hat trick by the 52nd minute as the Lady Red Raiders standout scored off a cross from Evie Culbreath, who picked up her second assist for a 4-0 lead in the first round of the state tournament. Zoey Mize also scored for Baylor, and Melissa Oliveira and Elizabeth Stophel had assists.