Aug. 27, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.- Baylor's volleyball team responded in a big way to its season-opening loss with a pair of sweeps over quality opponents College of Charleston and VCU on Saturday at the Purdue Mortar Board Premier in West Lafayette, Ind.
Baylor took their opening match of the day over Charleston easily with a 3-0 sweep (25-21, 25-15, 25-18), then capped off the day with nearly the same to sweep VCU (25-20, 25-19, 25-18).
Senior middle blocker Briana Tolbert and junior middle blocker Torri Campbell each earned all-tournament honors for the second-place Bears. Tolbert totaled 29 kills on the weekend, including 16 against CofC, while Campbell had 30 total and 11 against VCU.
Baylor will be back on the court inside the friendly confines of the Ferrell Center for the Fairfield Inn North Baylor Classic on Sept. 2-3. The Bears will host McNeese State, UT-Pan American and Northern Colorado in the round-robin tournament. BU takes on McNeese State at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, then battles UTPA at 12:30 p.m. and Northern Colorado at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The matches will be broadcast live on www.BaylorBears.com.
Tolbert and Qian Zhang led the way with 16 and 10 kills each to help Baylor to a 3-0 sweep (25-21, 25-15, 25-18) of College of Charleston Saturday morning at the Purdue Mortar Board Premier.
Tolbert fell just one kill shy of her career-best, but did so with spectacular line of 16 kills and just one error on 21 attempts to hit .714. Zhang was nearly as good with 10 kills and just two errors on 21 attempts to hit .381. Campbell added nine kills and just one error in 15 attempts to help Baylor hit .385 (52-12-104), the highest mark in the last 24 matches.
Senior setter Brittany Ridenour had a career match as well, tallying a career-high 36 assists, while adding a career-high four kills in just five attempts.
"It was in the gameplan to get the ball to Bri (Tolbert) in the middle and Qian (Zhang) on the outside," Barnes said. "We knew that Bri could have a huge game in the middle and that Qian would be able to hit over their setter who was blocking on that side. We just to them to be aggressive and Brittany did a good job of finding them at the right times."
Defensively, Zhang recorded her first-career double-double adding a team-best 11 digs to her 10 kills. The Bears tallied a total of 38 digs and 5.0 total blocks. Tolbert and Campbell each had two blocks to lead the team.
In the first set, Baylor used a 12-4 run to erase 10-8 deficit and take a 20-14 advantage. The run was highlighted four kills from Tolbert and two from Zhang. While the Cougar defense struggled to find their finesse, their offense closed it to within 21-20, but Tolbert and Zhang each recorded a kill to lead a 4-1 run to finish the set 25-21.
In the second, the Bears trailed 12-10 before running away with a 15-3 run to win the set. During the stretch, Campbell got rolling with three kills and two blocks, and Allison King finished it off with back-to-back service aces.
BU then took the lead at 8-6 in the third set and rode the right arm of Tolbert to the victory. In the set, the middle blocker was nearly unstoppable, racking up eight kills with no errors in only nine attempts. Zhang and Zoe Adom each added three kills to help Baylor total 19 in the set and win 25-18 for the sweep.
Literally, Baylor battled back to win each of the three sets, however that deficit was only one point each time. VCU scored the first point of all three sets, but never led again in any of them and only tying the score a handful of times.
"I'm proud of the way our team came out tonight and got the job done, especially serving," Barnes said. "VCU has some great athletes on their side, but we served them tough and only allowed 23 kills. That was amazing to keep a team like them to that low of a number. Torri and Bri played really well for us in the middle and Zoe showed us what she can do when she gets hot on the leftside. We definitely have a lot of information from this weekend that we can build on going into next weekend at home. We have a lot of stuff to work on this week in practice."
The offense once again ran through Campbell and Tolbert much of the night, but Adom made her presence felt as well with a season-high 10 kills. Campbell led the way with 11 kills, her second double-digit match in the first three, and Tolbert added an efficient seven kills.
King did a superb job on defense, racking up 19 digs in the back row for the second time in three matches and moving her digs per set average to 5.00 for the weekend. Also on the defensive side, Baylor had its best blocking match of the weekend with a total of 7.0. Juco transfer Alyssa Dibbern earned her first start of the year and responded with a team-best four blocks.
In the first set, Adom finished off a 5-1 run with a kill that put Baylor up 12-7. After VCU closed to within 15-13, the Bears put on the pressure, getting two more kills from Adom and two from Campbell to push the lead to 21-14 and cruise to a 25-20 win.
The second set was much of the same for Baylor, who built a lead of 10-4 with an 8-2 on the strength of back-to-back kills by Zhang. VCU got back-to-back service aces by Samantha Salvi to claw back to within 15-14, but Baylor was able to squash any comeback. Adom had four kills and a block assist with Campbell to score all of the last five points for a 25-19 set win.
In the third, Baylor jumped out to a 10-5 lead and held on for a 25-18 victory. The Bears had four kills from Campbell in the frame and three from Zhang to go along with nine digs from King.