Sept. 16, 2005
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -
Baylor junior outside hitter Nicole LeBlanc (Tampa, Fla.) recorded her third straight double-double and fifth overall of the season with a match-high 19 kills and 18 digs to lead the Bears to a 3-1 (30-19, 28-30, 30-23, 30-19) victory over Gonzaga in the opening match of the Fiesta Bowl Volleyball Tournament hosted by Northern Arizona Friday afternoon at Rolle Acitivity Center.
Senior middle blocker Stella Odion (Houston, Texas) hit .519 with 17 kills and four blocks, while senior outside hitter Kelly Spriggs (Houston, Texas) had a season-high 15 kills and six blocks. Senior outside hitter Melanie Hamerly (Orange, Texas) added 11 kills, while sophomore middle blocker Amanda Modglin (Houston, Texas) had five kills and six blocks. Senior setter Emily Huston (Santa Rosa, Calif.) had a great match with six kills, 10 digs, 55 assists and four service aces.
Baylor (8-2) scored six straight points to go up 10-7 in game one, but Gonzaga answered to eventually take a 14-13 lead. The Bears then scored four straight to take a 17-14 lead and seven of the next nine to extend the lead to 24-16. Behind the serve of junior Deja Sweeney (Sacramento, Calif.), Baylor scored the last six points to win the game, 30-19. The Bears hit .233 for the game, while holding the Bulldogs to a .000 attack percentage.
Gonzaga scored five straight points to take a 9-4 lead early in game two, but five straight kills by LeBlanc pulled Baylor back even at 11. The Bulldogs pulled away to take a 23-17 lead, but the Bears answered back with a rally behind back-to-back aces by Huston to get within two at 23-21. Back-to-back blocks by Spriggs and sophomore middle blocker Modglin tied the game at 25, but Gonzaga fought back by scoring the next three points and held the Bears off, 30-28.
The Bears held the lead a small lead for the first part of game three, until a five-point spurt put the Bulldogs ahead 20-19. Baylor then fell behind 22-20, but answered back with a 10-1 run, including the last four points to end the game, 30-23. The Bears hit .297 for the game and held the Bulldogs to .075 thanks to six blocks.
Baylor opened up game four on a tear, jumping out to a 7-1 lead. The Bears continued to pile on the points by working efficiently offensively and defensively and opened up a 21-9 lead on back-to-back aces by Huston. The Bears held their largest lead at 22-10 and closed out the match with a 30-19 decision, hitting .471 in the process and holding the Bulldogs to .079.
Briawna Mueller led Gonzaga (6-6) with 15 kills, while Becky Jones added 13 kills and 13 digs. Jessica Herrera led the Bulldogs defensively with 14 digs.
The Fiesta Bowl concludes Saturday with the Bears facing UTEP at 2 p.m. CDT and Northern Arizona in the finale at 9:30 p.m. CDT. Livestats and video for all the matches is available on nauathletics.com. Play-by-play will be included for the Northern Arizona match.