Sept. 2, 2011
WACO, Texas- Baylor's defense held McNeese State to a .029 hitting percentage and senior Qian Zhang paced the BU offense with a career-high 13 kills on the way to a 3-0 sweep (25-10, 25-16, 25-22) on Friday in the Fairfield Inn North Baylor Classic in Waco, Texas.
From the opening tip, the Bears seize control of the match, dominating the first set 25-10. Baylor put together a solid day on offense with a .250 hitting percentage (39-12-108), but the defense was the difference maker. BU held the Cowgirl offense to just a .029 with just 27 kills and 24 errors in 104 total attempts.
"Our service game was great today, we really put them on their heels," head coach Jim Barnes said. "We set the tone early, and that was good to see. We went to our second options on offense and had good success doing that. Qian (Zhang) did a great job on the left side."
On defense, Baylor combined for 8.0 total blocks and had three players in double figures in digs, led by Allison King's 13. Senior setter Brittany Ridenour and Zhang each collected 10 digs. Five BU players recorded at least two block assists with Tolbert leading the way with three.
With a previous best of 10 kills and limited playing time during her first three seasons, Zhang has transformed into a go-to option for Baylor racking up her 13 kills against the Cowgirls with only one error in 34 attempts to hit a spectacular .353. With Zhang's 10 digs and 13 kills, she recorded her second-career double-double.
Along with Zhang, senior Briana Tolbert added eight kills and junior college transfer Alyssa Dibbern had a career-best six kills with zero errors on 13 attempts (.462). Ridenour set the offense, adding 25 assists to her 10 digs for a double-double.
The Bears also added a season-best eight service aces, including four by junior Kate Harris. She also added four assists and two digs for an all-around effort.
Baylor controlled play in each of the first two sets, but McNeese State held a four-point lead midway through the third set before a 6-1 Baylor run was led by kills from Tolbert and Zhang put BU back in the lead for good on the way to a 25-22 win. Near the end of the set, former Lady Bear basketball All-American Melissa Jones recorded her first career kill with a tip over the hands of the Cowgirl block.
Baylor will be back on the court twice on Saturday at the Fairfield Inn North Baylor Classic, taking on UTPA at 12:30 p.m., before finishing the day with Northern Colorado at 7:30 p.m.