Sept. 16, 2011
LAS VEGAS- Freshman Adri Nora's career night helped Baylor kick off the UNLV Classic in fine fashion with a 3-0 sweep (25-19, 25-22, 25-17) over San Francisco on Friday at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nev.
"This was a crucial match for us in the aspect that we needed to bounce back and execute the things we have been working on," head coach Jim Barnes said. "San Francisco is a good team and has beaten a couple of really good opponents, so this win is important for us from an RPI standpoint."
Coming off a 3-0 loss at TCU on Tuesday night, Baylor (9-3) got back on track against the Dons (6-5), getting a career-high 16 kills from Nora and out-hitting them .275 to .062. Junior Torri Campbell added 10 kills, while senior Briana Tolbert had seven.
"Adri (Nora) continues to improve and this was a dominant performance from her," Barnes said. "They couldn't stop her. As just a freshman, if she continues to improve, she is going to be a big-time player for us."
The Bears controlled play with 60 digs and 10 blocks on the defensive side, led by Allison King's 19 digs and Campbell's six block assists. Senior Brittany Ridenour added 14 digs along with her 35 assists for her sixth double-double of the season.
"I thought we did a good job defensively, blocking and passing," Barnes said. "Qian (Zhang) played a good match, playing all six rotations. We had a couple small lapses in the match, but we played well, and are just continuing to push the team to get tougher mentally."
The Dons used a 5-1 run early in the first set to build a four-point advantage, but the Bears put together a 5-0 run that featured three blocks and a kill by Campbell for a 10-9 lead. From there, two kills by Nora extended the lead to 18-15, and three straight kills by Campbell finished it off at 25-19.
In the second set, kills by Campbell and Nora helped Baylor to a 4-1 lead that they would not relinquish. Senior Qian Zhang had back-to-back kills and Nora added another to keep Baylor's lead at 14-11. After USF closed to within one at 15-14, BU went on a 5-1 run that was capped by a Zhang service ace. The Dons made a run at the end, but Tolbert collected the final three points on kills for a 25-22 set win.
The Bears rolled out to another 4-1 lead with two kills by Nora and one by Campbell. Up 8-5, Nora ripped off three consecutive kills as part of a 7-2 run that put Baylor in control 15-7. After pushing the lead to as many as 10 at 20-10, Baylor was steady down the stretch with kills from Campbell and Zhang before two errors ended the Dons' day at 25-17.
Baylor will be back on the court for two matches on Saturday at the UNLV Classic. The Bears will face Fresno State at 9:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. CT, then take on host UNLV at 7:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. CT.