Friday, January 24, 2014

Baylor Seniors Look to Claim Fourth Straight Tournament Championship

In every sporting event there are dynasties built and the Baylor School girls tennis program has certainly built a dynasty at the DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships. The Red Raiders have won three straight tournament championships, outscored their opponents 67-17 in dual matches and only two of their eleven opponents have won more than two individual matches against them. The Baylor girls have defeated four eventual state finalists during their run including four eventual state champions.

Three-time Tournament Most
Valuable Player Samantha Caswell

In April 2011 Head Coach Dustin Kane brought his young Baylor School team from Chattanooga to the DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships for the first time. The tournament was just beginning to attract attention and teams from across the country and was growing quickly. The Red Raiders opened the tournament with a tough first round match against defending Tennessee State Champion Ravenwood (Brentwood, TN) and pulled out a narrow 5-4 decision. Baylor got key wins from freshman Harper Caswell, Maggie Crumbliss and McCall Morgan to clinch the match and begin their magical run. Baylor went of to defeat defending tournament and Indiana State Champion Saint Joseph's (South Bend, IN) 7-1 in the second and Webb School of Knoxville (Knoxville, TN) 4-0 in a rain-shortened third round before facing cross-town rival Girls Preparatory School (Chattanooga, TN) in their first tournament final. The Red Raiders opened the match sweeping the doubles matches for a 3-0 lead. They then got singles wins by sisters Samantha and Harper Caswell to clinch the match and their first championship. Red Raiders' Samantha Caswell and McCall Morgan were selected for Doubles All-Tournament Team honors and freshman Samantha Cawell was named Tournament Most Valuable Player. 

2012 & 2013 Singles All-Tournament
Team Selection Harper Caswell
The Red Raiders returned a year later looking to defend their tournament championship. Baylor which received a first-round bye in 2012 opened tournament play with a 6-0 win over eventual Kentucky State Finalist Notre Dame Prep (Park Hills, KY). The Red Raiders' sophomores Harper and Samantha Caswell, McCall Morgan and Maggie Crumbliss went undefeated in singles as Baylor defeated Oklahoma powerhouse Jenks (Jenks, OK) in the semi-finals to set-up a rematch with Girls Preparatory School in the championship.  Baylor once again swept the doubles matches to take a 3-0 lead and got singles wins by Samantha Caswell and Mary Walker Mixon to clinch their second straight tournament championship. The Baylor duo of Samantha Caswell and McCall Morgan were selected for Doubles All-Tournament Team honors for the second straight year, Harper Caswell was selected for Singles All-Tournament Team honors and sister Samantha Cawell was again named Tournament Most Valuable Player. 

2013 Doubles All-Tournament Team
Selection Harper Caswell & McCall Morgan
Baylor's clinched their place in tournament history last season with a third straight championship. The Red Raiders opened tournament play with three straight matches against Tennessee opponents including a 9-0 victory over Cookeville (Cookeville, TN), an 8-1 victory over rival Harpeth Hall (Nashville, TN) and a 7-2 victory eventual state champion Ravenwood. Baylor met eventual Oklahoma State Champion Jenks in the tournament championship. The Trojans of Jenks gave the Red Raiders their toughest match so far in tournament play. Baylor opened the match with a 2-1 lead winning the top two doubles positions before dropping three of the first five singles matches to finish leaving the match tied at 4-4. With temperatures falling and darkness looming tournament participants from numerous teams gathered around the final court of play to watch Baylor's Samantha Caswell pull out a 6-3, 6-4 straight set win to clinch the match and give the Red Raiders their record third straight title. Samantha Caswell was selected as the Tournament Most Valuable Player for the third straight year, sister Harper Caswell received her second straight Singles All-Tournament Team honors and the duo of Harper Caswell and McCall Morgan received Doubles All-Tournament Team honors. 

The Red Raiders will return to the DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships in 2014 looking for a fourth straight title behind a group of four senior that have left their mark on tournament history. Three-time tournament MVP Samantha Caswell has won 19 straight singles and 9 straight doubles matches. The group of seniors who claimed their first title as freshman have finished their first three years with a 33-6 record in singles and a 19-3 record in doubles matches. The Baylor girls have went on to win three straight Tennessee Division II Class AA State Championships and Samantha Caswell has won back-to-back Singles State Championships. 

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