Sept. 11, 2009
Box Score | Tournament Central
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Ashlie Christenson led the way with 11 kills, while Torri Campbell had a career-high eight kills, to help Baylor to a dominant sweep (25-16, 25-21, 25-18) of Pittsburgh in the first match of the Comcast Challenge, hosted by the University of New Mexico.
"We talked about the challenge of a morning game, staying focused and playing it point-by-point," head coach Jim Barnes said. "And I thought we did a really good job of that."
Campbell got going early with three kills and a block in the set's opening 10 points, then Christenson found her groove as setter Taylor Barnes spread the ball around in the Bears attack. Baylor hit an efficient .292, getting 10 kills from Katie Sanders and eight more from Ashley Byrd.
While Barnes was using her options on offense, Anna Breyfogle was putting up a wall at the net. The senior finished the match with seven total blocks, including one solo block. Christenson also had one solo block, and team up with Breyfogle on three more. In the back row, libero Allison King helped frustrate Pitt attackers all afternoon with 13 digs, while Barnes added eight of the Bears 38 total.
On the other side, Pitt couldn't get their offense going, being hassled by the Baylor block right from the start. Leading attacker Amy Town reached double figures with 11 kills, but was forced in 11 errors for a .000 hitting percentage on 35 attempts. Meanwhile, middle blocker Meagan Dooley, Pitt's second best option, hit just .143 (9-6-21) in the game.
"She really focused on stopping (Dooley) and slowing her down," Barnes said. "She didn't let (Dooley) take over the game. Anna has really worked hard defensively."
In the first set, Baylor jumped out to a 6-3 lead on Breyfogle block followed by a Pitt attack error. The Panthers tied the score at 11, but three straight Baylor points, put the Bears comfortably in control for the rest of the set. Torri Campbell scored the set's first three points with two kills and a block assist. Throughout the set, Pitt struggled to get their offense on track, hitting .029 with 10 errors. Baylor took advantage scoring five of the last six points, closing out the set on kills from Byrd and Sanders.
The second set went back and forth through the first 15 points, with Baylor tying the score at 15 on a Sanders kill. From that point, Breyfogle took over at the net. Baylor went on a 4-0 run, which included three block assists by Breyfogle and a hitting error caused by the Baylor block. Sanders, Barnes and Christenson each picked up a block assist alongside Breyfogle. Byrd helped finish off the set again with back-to-back kills.
In the third set, Baylor built a six-point lead on two separate occasions, but each time Pitt battled back, closing to within one at 16-15. After a BU timeout, Barnes flipped a set over her head to Breyfogle on a slide for a kill, then took matters into her own hands with a deceptive kill after two Pitt errors to put the Bears back in control 21-16. Christenson picked up a solo block and then Pitt committed a service error and hitting error to wrap up the match.
"Out of the timeout, we tried to get away from their big block up the middle," Barnes said. "So we ran that play so they couldn't chase Anna. That helped us get back in it, and get the momentum back."
The Bears will be back in action tonight against tournament-host New Mexico at the Comcast Challenge in the Johnson Center at UNM. The first serve is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. MT.