Sept. 18, 2000
WACO, Texas - Baylor freshman volleyball player Stevie Nicholas was named Big 12 Conference Athlete of the Week it was announced by the conference office Monday. Nicholas becomes the first Bear freshman to ever be named conference player of the week, including Baylor's time as a member of the Southwest Conference.
A native of Fullerton, Calif., Nicholas averaged 6.71 kills per game last week with 47 in two matches. She had a career-high 25 in the Bears' four-game win over Texas Tech last Wednesday and followed that with a 22-kill performance Saturday at Kansas State. Nicholas also collected a career-high 19 digs against the Red Raiders and hit .367 on the week.
On the season, Nicholas is averaging a conference-best 5.84 kills per game and leads the team with 3.29 digs per game. Her .354 attacking percentage also leads the Bears, and she is averaging 0.74 blocks per game. Nicholas has recorded at least 10 kills in each of her first 10 collegiate matches, one shy of the school record to start a career. She has also amassed at least 20 kills in three straight matches, two of which were three-gamers.
Despite the outstanding week by Nicholas, the Bears dropped out of the USA Today/AVCA Coaches' Top 25 for the first time since entering the poll for the first time ever Nov. 1, 1999. A three-game loss at then-No. 22 Kansas State pushed Baylor out of the Top 25, but not by much. The Bears drew 103 votes, while No. 25 Ohio State, which was not ranked last week, drew 119 votes.
For the first time this season, a team retained the No. 1 position from the week before. Nebraska stayed in the top spot after going 2-0 on the week, the Huskers also received 48 of 60 first-place votes. Hawaii, which garnered 11 of the remaining No. 1 nods, remained second. The rest of the top nine teams did not change from last week.
Kansas State jumped two spots to No. 20 and Texas A&M, which lost in three games last Wednesday at Missouri, dropped from 19th to No. 23.
Baylor will return to action Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., hosting Texas in the Ferrell Center.