Lake Charles, La. - Baylor (10-1) was forced to come from behind twice before ultimately pulling out a thrilling 3-2 win over Hampton (6-7) (9-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 15-9) to claim the Big Daddy's Invitational title Saturday evening. Winners of six-straight matches, the Bears are off to their best start since 2009 when they began 11-0.
"I think we got a huge wake-up call tonight," head coach Jim Barnessaid. "Hampton came out with their hair on fire and we were caught flat-footed. Thea (Munch-Soegaard) and (Mackenzie) Mayo really picked it up for us and were the fuel behind our comeback."
Munch-Soegaard had 18 kills on a .390 hitting percentage to go with six blocks, while Mayo had 19 key digs. Hope Ogden collected 10 digs, while Kate Harris added another double-double with 46 assists and 10 digs. Adrien Richburghelped the Baylor block with nine, as BU had 13.5 in the match.
The Bears earned their first five-set win of the year despite Hampton garnering a .262-.232 hitting advantage.
The Lady Pirates jumped out to a 15-3 lead in set one and never allowed the Bears closer than 11 the rest of the way. Hampton swung .655 in the opener, digging 21 BU attacks, while Baylor hit just .074 with four kills.
The Bears came out and grabbed a 6-2 lead to start set two. Hampton rallied to tie the game at six and 18 before taking a 19-18 advantage. But Baylor's block carried the set, collecting 7.5, ultimately claiming a 25-22 win to tie the match. Munch-Soegaard had four kills on eight swings to lead the Bears, who hit .278 to Hampton's .059.
Hampton took the early advantage in the third set (5-2) and held it until BU was able to square the game at 11-11. The Lady Pirates wouldn't allow Baylor any closer, maintaining the lead the rest of the way, and ultimately the 25-20 win.
Baylor trailed set four until taking a 16-15 lead, and never looked back, swinging .406 on 17 kills and just four errors.
Fueled by the momentum from game four, the Bears never trailed in the fifth. The 1-1 tie would be as close as Hampton would come, as the BU defense scored a point on each Hampton serve. Baylor forced five hitting errors and made just one of their own en route to the 15-7 win.
Adri Nora, Alyssa Dibbern and Thea Munch-Soegaard were named to the All-Tournament team with Nora earning MVP honors.
After eight matches in eight days, Baylor will next be in action against Binghamton at the Kathy Trosclair Memorial Tournament hosted by Tulane on Friday, Sept. 14 at 4:30 pm in New Orleans, La.