Sept. 20, 2007
BOULDER, Colo. -
Baylor had to overcome two match points to defeat Colorado 3-2 (30-26, 30-32, 27-30, 30-26, 16-14) on Wednesday night at the Coors Event Center. The Bears also set a new school record with 23.0 total blocks.
Trailing 14-12 in game five, Baylor used a kill by Haley Thomas (Jewett, Texas) to pull to within one. With Colorado still holding match point, Thomas and Anna Breyfogle (Buda, Texas) recorded consecutive blocks to give Baylor the one-point lead. Ashlie Christenson (Cleburne, Texas) then tallied her 11th kill of the night to end the match.
The match is the third straight between Baylor and Colorado to go to five games. With the win, Baylor ends a 13-match losing streak to Colorado dating back to the 2000 season.
"I am very happy that we were able to find a way to win," said head coach Jim Barnes. "We showed a lot of toughness in game five and found a way to win. We have struggled a lot this year with our serve-receive, and I think that we had some pretty good numbers tonight, but we still had some crucial breakdowns in games two and three."
Baylor (8-5, 1-2 Big 12) recorded a season-high 23.0 total blocks, setting a new school record for blocks during the rally scoring era (2001-present). The previous record of 22.5 came in the season opener last year against UC-Davis.
"We did a great job at the net, led by Anna Breyfogle," said Barnes. "She has been our net leader this year and played well tonight. Haley Thomas really came on well, especially with two big blocks in game five. Everyone on our front row really stepped up and we were able to put Colorado on their heels."
Breyfogle led the way for the Baylor defense with a season-high 13 blocks. The sophomore also tallied 13 kills for her second double-double of the season. Thomas recorded nine blocks (two solo) and added 13 kills with only three hitting errors (.357).
"I think that our timing was the main key to our blocking," said Breyfogle. "We made quick decisions and had quick feet and we were able to block a lot of balls."
Katie Sanders (Katy, Texas) connected on a team-best 18 kills and added 13 digs to record her ninth double-double of the season. Christenson also recorded double-figure kills with 11.
Baylor also got net defense contributions from Amanda Modglin (Houston, Texas) and Taylor Barnes (Arlington, Texas), who recorded eight blocks apiece, and Sanders who added six blocks. Barnes flirted with a quadruple-double as she recorded eight kills, 51 assists, 10 digs and eight blocks.
Sarah Grace (Houston, Texas) led the back-row defense with 15 digs. Kristen Schramek (San Antonio, Texas) recorded two service aces for Baylor. Christenson recorded her first ace of her career, while Modglin tallied her first ace this season.
"We switched a lot of things up with our serving tonight," said Barnes. "With the high elevation here, it was really tough for our jump servers to keep the ball in, so we served a lot more floaters. We tried hard to get our serves in more consistently to give our block and our defense a chance to make plays."
Colorado (5-5, 0-2 Big 12) placed four in double-figure kills led by Mallori Gibson with 20 kills. The Buffaloes only tallied seven total blocks for the match.
Baylor started out with a flurry of blocks in game one, tallying eight stops at the net on its way to a 30-26 win.
After taking a 29-26 lead in game two, the Bears couldn't hold on as Colorado scored six of the last seven points to take game two 32-30.
Baylor held a 27-26 lead in game three before the Buffaloes won the last four points to take game three 30-27.
The Bears built as much as a nine point lead in game four, leading Colorado 23-14. But the Buffaloes rallied to cut the lead to 24-23. Leading 27-26, Baylor used a block, a Colorado hitting error and a Sanders kill to take game four and force a deciding game five.
Baylor returns to action on Saturday as the Bears play host to Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m. at the Ferrell Center.