Sept. 21, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas- The injury-battered Baylor Bears unloaded on the University of North Texas Saturday afternoon with a 25-22, 25-19, 25-20 sweep. Nicole Bardaji set a career-high with 17 kills and hit .412 to lead the Bears on the second day of the University of Houston’s Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup.
Bardaji’s previous career-high was nine kills, and the junior middle blocker had 10 kills in the first set. She finished with just three errors on 34 attempts and added six digs defensively.
The Bears were victims of two 8-0 runs to LSU in a five-set loss to LSU, but Saturday Baylor dished out the hurt with a 9-0 in set one to take a 23-17 lead, the team began the second set with a 6-0 run, and added another 9-0 run in set two to jump out to a 17-4 advantage.
The Bears hit .250, had just one service error, and out-dug the Mean Green 62-57 with Mackenzie Mayo’s 13 leading a balanced Bears defensive effort.
Baylor lost freshman Katie Staiger after leading the Bears in kills through two matches to a season-ending knee injury, were without Adrien Richburg for the previous two matches, and Saturday played without Thea-Munch Soegaard – who is statistically Baylor’s most all-around player. Richburg missed Wednesday night’s Rice match and Friday’s match with LSU, however, she did come back in the third set against UNT and added three kills.
• Nicole Bardaji surpassed her previous career-high of nine kills in the first set alone with 10. She hit .562 for the set, and finished the match with 17 kills and a .412 hitting percentage.
• Laura Jones’ 10 kills marks the fifth match this season she’s reached double-digit kills this season.
• Junior middle blocker Tori Cox came into the match with zero kills on the season, and had eight in the win over UNT.
• Baylor had just one service error, a season-low for the Bears, in the win over the Mean Green.
• Hope Ogden’s 12 digs helped her surpass the 600-career digs mark; she is BU’s active digs leader with 606.
• Jordan Teel, a junior outside hitter for Baylor, hadn’t had a kill in her career before Saturday’s match where she had three.
STAT OF THE GAME I
.562 – Nicole Bardaji’s hitting percentage in set one; she had 10 kills in the first set, passing her previous career-high of nine kills, and finished the match with 17.
STAT OF THE GAME II
9-0 – Baylor had two 9-0 runs in the match. One to take a 23-17 lead in set one, and the other to extend a lead in set two to 17-4.
Jim Barnes on Baylor’s Performance with Two Starters Short
“We talked before the match about needing all hands on deck to get a good team win, and that’s exactly what we did. It was nice to see Nicole really break through and play to her potential, she was a real force for us today. “
Baylor will try to secure second place in the Flo-Hyman Collegiate Cup Saturday night at 7 p.m. when the Bears take on the host Cougars.