Sept. 10, 2009
Complete Baylor Notes
COMCAST CHALLENGE • Sept. 11-12, 2009 • Johnson Center (Albuquerque, N.M.)
INTERNET AUDIO: live broadcast stream at BaylorBears.com
LIVE STATS: Live GameTracker stats at BaylorBears.com
SCOUTING THE BAYLOR CLASSIC...
• The Panthers are led by first-year head coach Toby Rens, and enter the match receiving eight points in the AVCA Top 25 with a 5-2 record.
• Pitt’s offense is set up by Allyson Hodnik who has 280 assists on the season. Outside hitter Amy Town averages 4.68 kills per set (117-55-274-.226) and libero Michelle Rossi averages 4.48 digs per set (112).
CAL STATE FULLERTON
• The Lobos are led by third-year head coach Jeff Nelson, who has compiled a 5-0 record in 2009 and a 43-20 overall record during his time at UNM.
• Jade Michaelson quarterbacks the New Mexico offense with 183 assists on the season. Michaelson spreads the ball to five different attackers who have at least 30 kills, led by Lisa Meeter’s 49. On defense, libero Allison Buck leads the way with 4.53 digs per set (83).
• The Titans are led by eighth-year head coach Carolyn Zimmerman, who has compiled a 6-1 record in 2009 and a 96-120 record overall.
• The Titan attack is lead by outside hitter Erin Saddler who averages 5.56 kills per set, and setter Andrea Ragan who was 296 assists on the season.
• Fullerton’s defense is solidified by libero Cami Croteau, who averages 5.00 digs per set for a total of 125 in ‘09.
CALL IT A WINNING STREAK
With its three-set sweep over Texas State on Tuesday, Baylor tied the school record for consecutive wins to open the season with eight. The Bears will have a chance to break the record against Pittsburgh in their first game of the Lobo Comcast Challenge.
The record was set just last season when BU opened with eight consecutive wins before running into a hot UNLV team at the Oregon Classic in Eugene, Ore.
BAYLOR VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
The Bears win over 24th-ranked Purdue in the title game of the Holiday Inn & Suites Baylor Classic was the first over a ranked opponent since a five-set win at the Ferrell Center against 16th-ranked Missouri on Oct. 27, 2006.
Baylor had lost 17 consecutive games against ranked opponents coming into Saturday night.It also marked the third win over a ranked opponent in the Jim Barnes era. Barnes also recorded victories over no. 24 Kansas in 2004, and no. 24 Kansas State in 2006.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Baylor received 43 votes in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll released on Monday afternoon by American Volleyball Coaches Association officials.
The Bears total of 43 votes is a season-high, and ranks them 29th among all vote-getters, up three spots and 38 points from the Preseason AVCA Top 25 Poll. Baylor is one of six Big 12 teams receiving votes in the poll.
Baylor had its first five-set match of the season in a come-from-behind 3-2 victory at TCU. Just four days later, the Bears clawed through another five-set win, this time over 24th-ranked Purdue in the title game of the Baylor Classic.
It was the Bears fourth five-set win in a row dating back to last season. Baylor was 3-2 in five-set matches in 2008 with wins over Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Missouri, and losses to Kansas State and Oklahoma.
Baylor won their second tournament of the season, winning all three games at the Holiday Inn & Suites Baylor Classic on Sept. 4-5. The Bears opened with sweeps of UCF and UTSA, before handing 24th-ranked Purdue a five-set loss in the tournament title game. For their efforts, Katie Sanders was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while teammates Taylor Barnes and Ashley Byrd earned all-tournament team honors.
With a perfect 3-0 record at the Flo Hyman Invitational hosted by the University of Houston, the Bears claimed co-tournament champion honors. Baylor shared the title with the University of Indiana, as the two did not meet.
The Bears and Hoosiers were part of the five-team with each playing three matches against the other three teams (SE La., Houston, New Orleans).
The Bears completed a perfect start in the season’s opening weekend, winning all nine sets in three matches at the Flo Hyman Invitational. The Bears went on to win the first set at TCU before the streak halted in Set 2 at 10. The streak is the most since Baylor won 13 consecutive sets in the middle of an eight-match winning streak to open the 2008 season.
In ‘08, Baylor closed out the last two sets against Texas State, then swept Weber State, San Diego State, and Texas-San Antonio before the streak was snapped in the third set of a 3-1 victory over Rice.
LIKE A BROKEN RECORD
Anna Breyfogle continued her legacy as one of the best blockers in BU history setting a school record for blocks in a three-set match with 12 against Houston in the Bears second match of the season. The senior recorded one solo and 11 block assists in a three-set sweep of the Cougars.
With 23 total blocks in nine sets at the Flo Hyman Invitational, Breyfogle, who led the Big 12 in blocks per set in 2008, averaged 2.56 bps in the team’s first three games. Comparatively, in 2008, she averaged 1.45.
DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE
Baylor’s defense has proved to be one of its strong points this season, holding opponents to just a .119 hitting percentage and 10.0 kills per set.
The Bears have racked up 66.5 blocks for an average of 2.4 per set, and 428 digs for an average of 15.3 per set. Middle blocker Anna Breyfogle has been a force at the net averaging 1.45 blocks per set, while libero Allison King is leading the back row with 116 total digs for an average of 4.14 per set.
Anna Breyfogle remains at the top of the Big 12 in hitting percentage with a season average of .423. The Buda, Texas native has totaled 66 kills on 123 attempts with just 14 errors.
Breyfogle also has the highest block total with 36, and ranks second in blocks per set with 1.45. Breyfogle also has the highest single-match block total in the league, when she had 12 against Houston earlier this season.
OUT OF THE GATES
In the Jim Barnes era, the Bears have become accustomed to starting the season off on the right foot. After losing the season-opener in Barnes’ first season, Baylor has won its first match of the season each of the last five years with a win to open 2009 over Southeastern Louisiana.
In 2008, Barnes’ crew ripped off eight consecutive wins to open the season, losing just three sets along the way. That streak included a 13-set winning streaking, starting with the last two sets at Texas State and ending with a third-set loss against Rice.
ALL-BIG 12 PRESEASON TEAM
For the second-straight season, Taylor Barnes and Anna Breyfogle were named to the preseason All-Big 12 team.
Barnes, a senior setter, was named to the preseason team for the third-straight year. In 2008, she parlayed her preseason accolade into All-Big 12 First Team postseason honors, leading the Big 12 in service aces per set. Barnes also earned all-AVCA central region honors and ranked fourth in the Big 12 with 10.32 assists per set.
Breyfogle, a senior middle blocker, earned the preseason honor for the second-straight year. Like Barnes, Breyfogle also earned both All-Big 12 First Team and all-AVCA central region honors in 2008. The Buda, Texas, native led the Big 12 in blocks per set with 1.45, while ranking seventh in the nation in that category.
ADDITIONS AND SUBTRACTIONS
Baylor lost just one letterwinner from its 2008 squad, while adding the three recruits that make up the 14th-ranked class in the nation, accoring to Prepvolleyball.com.
Amarillo’s (Texas) Torri Campbell, ranked 30th in the country, enters Baylor as its second-highest ranked recruit in program history. Zoe Adom, an ultra-athletic outside hitter from Euless, Texas, and Kiley Sherman, a versatile outside and defensive player from Oswego, Ill., round out the class for the Bears.
LOOK! I’M ON TV
Baylor will be part of the five-game telecast schedule for the Big 12 Conference this season when it travels to the University of Texas on Sept. 16. The game will be televised on ESPNU, with a 6 p.m. start time.
The Big 12 telecast schedule includes four games on ESPNU and one game on Fox Sports Net. Nebraska and Texas will each be televised three times, while Texas A&M will be televised twice and Baylor and Oklahoma each once.
NOT THAT A-TEAM
Baylor junior Ashlie Christenson had a busy offseason after earning a spot on the 24-player U.S. Women's National A2 Program last Spring. Christenson was just the second player in Baylor history, along with Stevie Nicholas in 2002, to be named to the A2 National Team.
LIVE ON THE WEB
Don’t forget to check out live stats on Gametracker on BaylorBears.com. Baylor’s official website will also feature a live radio webcast with veteran play-by-play announcer Larry Little handling the duties for home matches, and Todd Zeidler bringing you the action from the road.