Oct. 2, 2004
WACO, Texas -
Baylor used a balanced offensive attack and one of its best defensive efforts of the season as four different players recorded double-doubles to stun 24th-ranked Kansas, 3-1 (30-25, 22-30, 34-32, 30-17), in Big 12 volleyball action Saturday night at the Ferrell Center.
"It's a huge win for this team because we've been working extremely hard and we've been telling the girls that we can beat (ranked) teams and we are this good," head coach Jim Barnes said. "Tonight confirms that we're getting back and playing at the level we are capable."
Sophomore right-side hitter Nicole LeBlanc (Tampa, Fla.) led the Bears (8-7, 2-4 Big 12) both offensively and defensively hitting .263 with 14 kills and a career-high 20 digs. She also added five assists, five blocks (one solo) and a service ace. Junior middle blocker Adeline Meira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) hit .500 with 13 kills and shut Kansas down by tying her career high with 10 blocks, a career-high four of them solo.
"It's about being aggressive and not trying to do too much," LeBlanc said. "We have to be smart with our attacking, knowing when to tip and not just swinging hard into a block and just doing the simple things best."
Junior outside hitter Stella Odion (Houston, Texas) added 12 kills, 11 digs and three blocks, while junior setter Emily Huston (Santa Rosa, Calif.) posted the other double-double with 51 assists, 13 digs and four kills. Sophomore middle blocker Desiree Guilliard-Young (Berkeley, Calif.) added 13 kills, while junior outside hitter Kelly Spriggs (Houston, Texas) pitched in with 10. Freshman defensive specialist Kristen Schramek (San Antonio, Texas) had 10 digs, her fifth-straight match with double-digit digs and ninth overall this season, and junior defensive specialist Maggie Chlebana (Calgary, Alberta) recorded three huge aces.
"We made a big adjustment on defense in the middle back," Barnes added. "We put Stella and Nicole back there, two of our best athletes, so they could dig a lot of balls or at least get a hand on them. We're playing a more rotational defense, which means when the other team tips the ball, theres going to be someone there to cover it."
Baylor grabbed the momentum early in the match, but not before trailing 8-7. With Guilliard-Young serving, the Bears ripped off five-straight points on kills by Guilliard-Young, Odion and three in-a-row by Meira. The Bears went up 17-14, but Kansas (10-4, 1-4) rallied to go up 20-17. The game was tied for the final time at 23-23 when Baylor essentially put it away with another five-point run. After a sideout by the Jayhawks, Odion and Meira slammed the door with back-to-back kills for a 30-25 victory. Baylor hit .256 in the game, while holding Kansas to .091.
Game two was all Jayhawks as they took a 5-4 lead they would never relinquish. Kansas led by as many as 10 at 24-14, but Baylor rallied to within five at 26-21. The Jayhawks quickly regrouped and evened the match with a 30-22 decision. Kansas hit .343 for the game, compared to only .162 for Baylor.
Game three was back-and-forth the entire way as each time tried to gain control in the match. Kansas went up by as many as four at 12-8 and again at 23-19, but the Bears kept fighting and scored four straight to tie the game at 23-23. Kansas rebounded and took a 27-25 lead, but Baylor tied it again at 27 and again at 28. At game point for the Jayhawks, Odion came up with a tremendous kill that swung the momentum and got the crowd involved. The two teams traded points back-and-forth with Kansas holding the edge until a kill by Meira and an ace by Odion gave the Bears their first game point at 32-31. Kansas tied it at 32-32, but a kill by Spriggs and an attack error by Kansas gave the Bears the 34-32 win and all of the momentum heading into game four.
The Bears fell behind 6-3 early in game four, but six-straight points, including two aces by Chlebana gave a 9-6 lead and they never looked back. Kansas crept to within two on two occasions, but a four-point run gave Baylor a 20-13 lead. The Bears pushed the lead to 26-17, then scored the final four points of the match to close out the Jayhawks, 30-17.
"We have to pass well and that helps us run a balanced offense," Barnes said. "We were very aggressive defensively and we had a lot of different people step up at different times."
Josi Lima led Kansas with 14 kills and had 11 digs, but hit only .091, while Jana Correa added 13 kills. Ashley Michaels posted 12 kills and seven blocks, and Emily Brown had 11 kills. Jill Dorsey recorded a match-high 22 digs, and setter Andi Rozum had 50 assists, seven digs and eight blocks. Kansas hit .139 for the match, while Baylor hit .214. The Bears outblocked the Jayhawks, 13.0-10.0, and had seven aces to the Jayhawks' three. Both teams recorded 66 digs.
The Bears return to action when they hit the road to face No. 7 Nebraska Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Nebraska Coliseum in Lincoln, Neb.