Sept. 22, 2010
WACO, Texas - Baylor's volleyball team put 10th-ranked Iowa State in an early hole, but couldn't hold on in a 3-1 (25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 19-25) loss against the Cyclones on Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center. The match was the second of three consecutive top 10 opponents for the Bears.
"That is a good team that really knows how to finish strong," head coach Jim Barnes said. "Matches like this are going to accelerate us as far as getting better. I thought we played a great match tonight, and if we just limit some breakdowns, we will have chances to beat these top-10 teams."
Baylor (7-6, 0-2 Big 12) maintained an offensive and defensive balance in the first set, but Iowa State (9-2, 2-1 Big 12) was able to fend off the Bears down the stretch. Each team had three players with at least 10 kills and five players with at least 10 digs.
For the Bears, senior Ashlie Christenson led the team with 17 kills to go along with 10 digs for her sixth double-double of the season. Christenson was one of four players that recorded a double-double, including Allison King, Kate Harris and Brittany Ridenour. King had 12 kills and 16 digs for her third of the year, while Harris recorded her fourth of the year with 25 assists and 11 digs and Brittany Ridenour had her third of the year with 17 assists and 13 digs.
Elizabeth Graham added 12 kills, and Ashley Byrd had nine, with both players hitting over .300 for the match to help Baylor become the first Iowa State opponent to hit over .225 this season.
On defense, libero Caitlyn Trice chalked up her eighth match with more than 20 digs, recording 24 to give Baylor five players with double figures. Graham and Torri Campbell each recorded four blocks, while Christenson added three.
The Bears battled ISU to a 14-14 tie in the first set with steady play, then ripped off a 6-1 run to seize control. During the run, BU got kills from Graham, King, Christenson and Campbell, along with a solo block by Graham. The Cyclones closed it back to 21-18, but Christenson and Campbell grabbed the momentum back with a block assist. Then Graham and Tolbert blocked ISU's Carly Jenson to win the set 25-21.
In the second, the teams had tie-scores 15 different times, including a 20-20 tie before the Cyclones reeled off five in a row. Christenson had six kills in the set, but ISU's Victoria Henson had five of her match-high 18 and Jenson had five of her 15 to help the Cyclones tie the match at one set each.
Baylor found itself in a big hole at 12-5 in the third set, but scored five in a row with three kills and two ISU errors. Christenson then recorded back-to-back kills to keep Baylor within two at 18-16, and an attack error by Henson got Baylor within one at 21-20. After two ISU kills, King followed a Campbell service ace with a kill to make it 23-22. But, ISU's Henson got the two final kills for a 25-22 set win.
In the fourth, it was the Bears who jumped out to the big early lead at 13-7. Byrd and Christenson each had three kills early in the set, while redshirt freshman Zoe Adom chipped in two of her three kills. The Cyclones, however, answered with an 8-0 run that featured a stretch of six straight kills. A block by King and Campbell kept Baylor in it at 21-19, but another 4-0 run by ISU sealed the match.
Baylor will take on its third consecutive top-10 opponent when it hosts No. 4 Nebraska on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Ferrell Center. The Bears will be looking for the program's first-ever win against the Big 12 preseason favorite.