Sept. 7, 2010
WACO, Texas - After dropping the first two sets against TCU on Tuesday night, Baylor was able to make a furious rally to complete a 3-2 comeback win (15-25, 24-26, 25-19, 28-26, 15-12) over the Horned Frogs in the Ferrell Center.
"This team doesn't stop working," head coach Jim Barnes said. "They are grinding every point. We have a lot of things not clicking offensively, but we are working through that and I was proud of hard they played to come back."
The Bears struggled out of the gate, hitting .000 with 10 kills and 10 errors in the first set, then were clipped late in the second set. But, a season-high 20 kills from Ashlie Christenson sparked the offense and a career-high-tying 32 digs from Caitlyn Trice sparked the defense to help Baylor to snap a three-match losing skid. The comeback marked the first time Baylor won after facing a two-set deficit since Nov. 22, 2008, against Missouri in Waco, Texas.
"TCU always plays us tough and played a great match tonight," Barnes said. "They certainly took it to us in the beginning and really battled hard. We had to start playing at another level to come back."
Torri Campbell and Elizabeth Graham each tallied 14 kills, while Ashley Byrd and Allison King each had nine. Brittany Ridenour and Kate Harris each set career highs in assists with 32 and 30, while Ridenour completed her second consecutive double-double with 12 digs.
Baylor's defense stepped up in the match as well, led by Trice's fourth 30-plus dig effort of the year and King's 25 digs. With just one block in the first set, Baylor's net play grew stronger as the game wore on with a total of 11.0 blocks on the night. Campbell had six block assists, while Byrd had five, Graham had four and Christenson had three.
In the first set, Baylor took an early 7-6 lead on back-to-back service aces by Christenson, but TCU went on an offense tear with 10 kills and just one error the rest of the set. Baylor closed to within 12-10 on a kill by Campbell but the Frogs responded with a 7-1 run and effectively closed the set out 25-15 with a Kristen Hester kill.
Baylor controlled most of the second set, jumping out to a 4-1 lead with a Byrd kill and a block assist by Graham and Christenson. The Bears then pushed their lead to 11-6 with King's back-to-back kill and block. But, up 15-10, TCU was the beneficiary of three Baylor errors to help fuel a 7-2 run. Graham put away a kill to make it 22-20, but Kristen and Irene Hester each had kills to put TCU in the driver's seat. Campbell tied it at 24-24, but Christy Hudson got a kill for TCU and Campbell made an error to give TCU a 2-0 set-lead.
The Bears came roaring back in the third set, building an early 9-4 lead with two kills and a service ace by Christenson. Graham made it 17-10 with an authoritative spike, then Trice picked up her only kill of the season with a well-placed down-ball to make it 21-14. Up 23-18, Graham put away two kills around a TCU point to win the set 25-19.
Both teams battled in the fourth set, which featured 14 ties and seven lead changes. Baylor went up 8-5 on three consecutive kills, but TCU answered with a 3-0 on a service ace and two Hannah Fort Kills to knot the score at 11-11. After trading points to 17-17, Baylor briefly broke loose with a 4-0 run sandwiching two Campbell kills around two Harris service aces for a 21-17 lead. TCU scored seven of the next nine for their first match-point at 24-23, which was denied by a Campbell kill. Christenson then denied the next TCU match point with a kill, before Graham and King notched back-to-back kills to end the set 28-26.
In the fifth set, BU fell down 5-3, but made a 6-2 run for a lead they would not relinquish. Christenson gave BU some breathing room with a kill at 12-9, then Byrd gave BU match point at 14-12 with a kill. A TCU error ended the night and successfully completed the BU comeback.
Baylor travels to Orlando, Fla., next for the Courtyard by Marriott UCF Classic on Sept. 10-11. The Bears will join host UCF, Jacksonville and Florida Atlantic in a round robin. Baylor's plays Jacksonville and UCF on Friday at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., then takes on FAU at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. All times are Central. Follow the action with live stats and live audiostream on www.BaylorBears.com.