Oct. 10, 2009
WACO, Texas - Texas A&M won more crucial points than No. 17 Baylor and took home a 3-1 victory over the Bears in front of a program-record crowd of 3,022 on Saturday night inside the Ferrell Center.
Baylor took the Aggies to the final points in the second and fourth sets, but came out on the wrong end of the deciding points. The Bears had four set-points in the second set before A&M took the set, then closed to within one in the fourth set, but an A&M kill finished off the match.
"We hurt ourselves coming out slow," head coach Jim Barnes said. "We have done a good job all year of coming out and taking the first set. Tonight, we came out slow, but we came back strong and fought hard and it came down to a couple of plays."
Junior Ashlie Christenson paced the Bear attack with a career-high 20 kills in the match on 48 total attempts with only two errors (.375). Middle blockers Torri Campbell and Anna Breyfogle each turned in solid performances on offense with 12 kills apiece. Katie Sanders added eight and Taylor Barnes and Ashley Byrd each had four. Barnes dished out her third-highest assist total of the season with 51.
On defense both teams didn't cut any slack with each having at least four players in double digit digs. Allison King posted a season-high 23 for the Bears, while A&M libero Tori Mellinger had a match-high 24. Katie Sanders had 17, Barnes posted a double-double with 14 to go along with her assist total, and Caitlyn Trice added 12 digs for the Bears.
Breyfogle, the Big 12's blocking leader led the Bear defense at the net with seven blocks assists, while Sanders posted six and Byrd had four block assists.
On the other side of the net, A&M was led by Sarah Ammerman's 20 kills, along with 16 from Jennifer Banse and 11 by Mary Batis.
The Aggies traded points with BU until taking a four-point lead 11-7 in the first set on an Ammerman kill, but Baylor battled back with two kills from Breyfogle to close to within 15-13. Baylor would get no closer in the first set, as A&M scored three in a row to take the set 25-18.
In the second set, neither team held a lead of more than two points the whole way at Baylor forced an Aggie timeout with a Breyfogle kill to make it 16-14. Campbell made it 20-18 with a kill and then Baylor had its first set-point at 24-22. A Bear attack error tied it at 24, but Sanders gave the Bears another set point. A&M answered in similar fashion two more times before two Baylor errors gave them a 31-29 set win, and a 2-0 match lead.
Baylor came out in the third set on a mission. With the score tied at 8-8, the Bears reeled off nine straight points getting three service aces from Barnes and two kills apiece by Campbell and Christenson. A four-point run with kills from Breyfogle and Sanders gave the Bears set-point, then Barnes finished it off for the 25-12 win.
In the fourth set, Baylor grabbed a 6-5 lead with a kill from Sanders, but A&M scored five straight to take a 10-6 lead. The Aggies held the lead to at least three until Baylor broke through with a three-point run to close it to 21-20 with a Christenson kill. The Aggies built the lead back up to three and made it set-point 24-21, but Baylor got another kill from Christenson and a kill from Breyfogle before Banse won it for A&M 25-23.
Baylor (17-2, 6-2 Big 12) will be back in action at the Ferrell Center on Wednesday night as they take on No. 9 Nebraska in a conference showdown at 7 p.m.