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Baron Bash showcases volleyball talent to area

By J. SCOTT SEWELL
jscott@theitem.com
Posted 12/31/69

Wilson Hall’s annual Baron Bash Invitational drew in 13 teams and hundreds of volleyball fans from around the state on Saturday at Nash Student Center.All 13 teams competed in pool play …

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Baron Bash showcases volleyball talent to area

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Wilson Hall’s annual Baron Bash Invitational drew in 13 teams and hundreds of volleyball fans from around the state on Saturday at Nash Student Center.

All 13 teams competed in pool play beginning at 9 a.m. The top two teams from each pool advanced to the Gold bracket, while the third-place teams were slotted in the Silver bracket, and fourth- and fifth-place teams in the Bronze bracket.

“I think the tournament went really well,” said Wilson Hall head coach Rip Ripley. “We try to put on a good tournament here, and I think it ran pretty smoothly. I think we had good, even competition across the board which is what we were striving for.”

The King’s Academy won the Gold bracket, Sumter won the Silver bracket, and Heathwood Hall won the Bronze bracket.

Wilson Hall had perhaps the best day of area teams, winning six of eight sets in pool play before losing in the first round of the Gold Bracket to Palmetto Christian. The Barons were led by Camryn Bateman, who was selected to the Baron Bash All-Tournament Team for the second consecutive year. Bateman finished the tournament with 31 assists and 14 aces. Abbie Beatson notched 42 digs for the Barons, and Lucy Matthews led the offensive attack with 23 kills, 22 digs and seven aces.

“We had a couple of sets that we lost in pool play that we thought we should’ve won,” said Ripley. “At the end of the day we played OK, but we felt we could’ve played better. We found some things we needed to work on though, which is good. It’s the point of these tournmanets. After watching film and talking to the girls, we found some things that can hopefully help us with this push at the end of the season.”

“Camryn did a good job,” Ripley continued. “She’s one of our setters, and she’s our No. 1 server. She’s doing a good job this year of maturing as a vollyeball player, and her energy on the court is awesome. She’s very vocal, and she’s growing into one of our leaders.”

Robert E. Lee played well in pool play, winning four of six sets and qualifying for the Gold bracket. The Cavaliers ran into the eventual champion, TKA, in the first round and fell 25-20, 25-14 to the Lions. REL outside hitter Caleigh Barrett was named to the Baron Bash All-Tournament Team.

Sumter finished just 0-1-2 in pool play, but then breezed through Northwood Academy and Pee Dee Academy in bracket play to claim the Silver bracket victory. Brenna Hill led the way for the Lady Gamecocks, earning Baron Bash All-Tournament Team honors.

Thomas Sumter Academy won their first two sets of the morning, defeating Hammond 25-20, 26-24 before falling to Heathwood Hall in the opening round of the Bronze bracket. TSA’s Lindsay Daniel was named to the all-tournament team.

The first round exits of Wilson Hall and REL prevented local fans from witnessing a potential championship game featuring REL and Wilson Hall in the Gold bracket. However, pool play did feature a fun match between Thomas Sumter and Wilson Hall. The Barons won both sets of that matchup 25-12, 25-19.