Aug. 28, 2010
WACO, Texas - Baylor's volleyball team turned in a .315 hitting percentage, including 12 kills from senior Ashlie Christenson, to sweep Butler 3-0 (26-24, 25-17, 25-17) in the final game of the Holiday Inn and Suites Baylor Classic at the Ferrell Center.
The Bears had to fight off a furious Bulldog team in the first set, then found their groove midway through the second set to defeat Butler handily. Allison King recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs to help the Bears hit a season-high .315 (50-11-124). Briana Tolbert, Ashley Byrd and Elizabeth Graham tallied seven kills each. Brittany Ridenour handed out 24 assists to lead the team, while Kate Harris added 17 helpers.
Baylor shined on defense in the final two sets, led by the back-row play of Caitlyn Trice and net play from Tolbert and Graham. Trice tallied 18 digs, bringing her three-match tournament total to 78, and earning her the tournament's Defensive Most Valuable Player award. Christenson and Graham were each named to the Baylor Classic All-Tournament team.
"Caitlyn Trice really stepped up this whole tournament," head coach Jim Barnes said. "We were really happy and proud of her. It was the first time for her playing libero, and she was just steady and provided great leadership. We are just really proud of the way she played."
Butler scored the first two points of the match, but Christenson and Tolbert each had two kills during a 4-2 Baylor run to retake the lead. With the block not quite developing yet for the Bears, Ridenour sparked the offense from her setter position spreading the ball around. She set up kills for Christenson, Graham, and King during a stretch to keep the BU lead at 17-14. Butler didn't die easily in the set, tying the score at 18, then taking a 22-20 lead on a solo block by Maureen Bamiro. Down 23-21, Baylor's versatility showed with a block by Campbell and Tolbert, then back-to-back kills by Campbell and King to win the set 26-24.
In the second set, Baylor opened up a 10-4 lead getting four block assists. Graham had a hand in three of them, while Tolbert was in on two. Graham added two more blocks midway through the set to push the score to 20-12 before kills by Byrd, Campbell and Tolbert set up Campbell's finishing service ace.
The third set was nearly a mirror image for the Bears, Graham had two blocks and three kills to help BU to a 10-5 lead, then Campbell followed a Byrd kill for a 16-10 lead. Christenson and King each recorded back-to-back spikes for a 24-17 lead and Harris ended the night with a service ace.
"If we are serving tough, we put teams on their heels and we are able to score at a high rate," Barnes said. "Our defense can be one of the best in the nation, but we have to serve tough to create those points."
Baylor (2-1) will have their first road match of the season on Wednesday, Sept. 1, when they take on the UTSA Roadrunners in San Antonio, Texas. The first serve is slated for 6:30 p.m.