BAKER — The Baker School volleyball team took care of business against Central on Tuesday opening the season with a 3-1 win by scores of 25-6, 23-25, 25-6, 26-11.
"I think overall we played solid," coach James Kerrell said. We played fundamental volleyball. "All in all, I'd say it was a good performance."
With senior Savannah Risen leading the way he Gators (1-0) jumped to quick 9-0 lead in the first set. The Jaguars opened the set with a serve out of bounds. Risen then reeled off eight straight points with three aces mixed in to give Baker the commanding lead.
Hana Wadsworth and Jordan Linzy had kills in the set and Ashley Black provided a timely block for a score, but mostly the Gators feasted on Jaguar mistakes.
It looked as if it was going to be more of the same in the second set when Baker jumped to an 11-1 lead, but the tenacious Central squad battled back with a 14-6 run to close the Baker lead to 17-15. A Central net violation made the score 18-15 with Risen taking over in serve for Baker.
A kill by Hartley Moate followed as Baker scored four straight points and was three points away from taking the set. A couple of unforced errors by the Gators kept Central in the set.
Baker still led 22-19 when Risen took a tumble and collided with a teammate bruising her right knee. Temporarily sidetracked by Risen's injury the Gators allowed the Jaguars to finish off the set with a 6-1 run to take the set.
"We had a hiccup there in the second game," Kerrell said. "Any time you have one of your captains, setters and outside hitters (Risen) go down it kind of throws everybody out of their rhythm a little bit. They were fine once they saw she was fine and everything."
Reassured Risen was OK, it didn't take long for the Gators to regain their focus in set three.
Baker roared to an 11-3 lead and never looked back.
Wadsworthand Linzy sparked the big run. Wadsworth had four aces and Linzy and Black had kills.
Baker led 13-6 when Linzy took over in serve as the Gators scored 12 straight points to finish off the set.
The fourth set was almost anti-climatic.
Lena Daoud was in serve as Baker took a quick 3-0 lead. The Gators led 6-3 when Wadsworth took serve next. Baker scored 10 unanswered points to go up 16-3 as the Gators coasted to the win.
The Baker junior varsity squad swept Central by scores of 25-10, 25-0. Taylor Brunson used an impressive jump serve in serving out the second set with 25 straight points.
The Gators host Holmes County on Thursday as they open District 3-1A play.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.