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Volleyball looks to rebound against Cyclones

Oct. 12, 2000

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Bears look to rebound against Cyclones: Baylor will return to action Saturday, hosting Iowa State at 7 p.m. in the Ferrell Center. The Bears, 10-7 on the season and 4-5 in Big 12 Conference play, will be looking to right the ship after dropping consecutive matches to then-No. 23 Texas A&M and No. 1 Nebraska. Iowa State enters the match with a 2-14 overall record and an 0-8 mark in conference action. The match will be webcast at, the official website of Baylor Athletics.

Iowa State: The Cyclones enter Saturday's match in the throws of a nine-match losing streak after dropping a 15-6, 15-6, 15-7 decision at home Wednesday to Northern Iowa. Iowa State took Oklahoma to five games Sept. 27 in Norman for its only two game victories during that time. ISU's two wins on the season came Sept. 2 at home against North Carolina-Greensboro (15-9, 15-3, 12-15, 15-4) and Sept. 9 at Wichita State (15-13, 14-16, 3-15, 15-12, 15-11). The Cyclones have won just five of 47 games during their 14 defeats. Iowa State is under the direction of second-year head coach Linda Grensing, who is 5-38 in her one-and-a-half seasons in Ames. She holds a career mark of 112-127 over eight seasons. Senior middle blocker Stacy Nicks leads the Cyclones with 2.48 kills per game and a .214 attacking percentage. She is also putting down 1.05 blocks per game. As a team, Iowa State is hitting just .106 with 9.98 kills per game. ISU is collecting 12.36 digs and 2.12 blocks per game.

The Series: This will be the 11th meeting between Baylor and Iowa State with the Bears leading the all-time series 7-3. Baylor has won the last four matches with the Cyclones, and the Bruins are 7-1 against Iowa State as Big 12 foes. The teams first met Sept. 20, 1980 at the Oral Roberts Invitational in Tulsa, Okla. The Cyclones won that match 15-11, 15-13 under best-of-three scoring. Baylor and ISU hooked up again four years later in Waco, and the Cyclones were again victorious 10-15, 15-7, 15-6, 15-11. However, the two programs did not face each other again until 1996, the first year of Big 12 Conference volleyball. The Bears swept the season series last year, winning both matches in three games, and have never lost in Ames.

Last time out: Baylor posted its lowest team attacking percentage of the season Wednesday, dropping a 15-2, 15-2, 15-10 match at No. 1 Nebraska before 3,775 fans. The Bears hit just .052 against the Cornhuskers, who hit .386 themselves. Baylor entered the match fifth nationally with 18.05 kills per game, but could manage just 31 kills against 26 attack errors versus the nation's top-ranked team. Nebraska maintained its national-best 16-match winning streak with the victory, moving to 16-0 on the season. The Huskers also extended their game-winning streak to 29 games, winning each of their last nine matches in three games. Baylor did become just the third opponent in Nebraska's last 10 matches to reach 10 points in a game.

Match Notes: Baylor is now 0-10 all-time against Nebraska, the only Big 12 team the Bears have never beaten. ... The Bears are now 0-3 all-time against opponents ranked No. 1 nationally. Twice that opponent has been Nebraska, Baylor fell to the top-ranked Huskers in 1995, as well. Baylor's other loss to a No. 1 team was to eventual national champion Penn State in the second round of the 1999 NCAA Tournament. ... The third game marked just the fifth time in 30 all-time games against Nebraska that the Bears reached 10 points.

Atkinson serves into seventh-place tie: Senior outside hitter Dana Atkinson collected a pair of service aces Wednesday against Nebraska, tying her for seventh all-time at Baylor with 108 career service aces. She is currently knotted with Sarah Sivertson (1995-1998). Next on the list is Jenny DeLue, who amassed 110 service aces from 1992 to 1995.

Huskers snap Stevie's streaks: Freshman outside hitter Stevie Nicholas got a wakeup call Wednesday against No. 1 Nebraska. The Fullerton, Calif., native was held to just five kills in the three-game match, marking the first time in her collegiate career that she did not reach double figures in kills. Therefore, her school-record streak of such matches to begin a career ended at 16 matches, some five matches better than the previous school mark set by Elisha Polk in 1996. Stevie also gave way on another streak, her sister, Sunny Nicholas, led the Bears in kills against the Huskers with 11, marking the first time this season that Stevie had not at least tied for the team-high in kills. In the first 16 matches, Stevie led Baylor solely 15 times. Amy Wallace matched her with 17 kills against Oklahoma.

Chuha takes over second: Junior setter Dana Chuha moved into second place in career assists at Baylor with her 56-assist performance against Texas A&M. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native now has 2,750 on her three-year career. However, overtaking first-place Cory Sivertson will probably take some time. Sivertson tallied 4,846 assists during her 1991 to 1994 stay at Baylor. Chuha owns the top three and eight of the top 10 single-match assist totals in school history. Her 101 assists last season against Texas is a school and Big 12 record and ranks seventh all-time in the NCAA. Chuha also set an NCAA Tournament record for assists in a four-game match with 94 against Temple in last season's first round.

Blocks tell a lot for Bears: Baylor has recorded more blocks than its opponent eight times this season. Not surprisingly, the Bears are 8-0 in such matches, while posting a 2-7 mark in the other eight matches. Since the beginning of the 1999 season, the Bears are 19-2 when out-blocking their opponent and have won 12 consecutive such matches. On the other hand, Baylor has a 17-13 record during that time when its opponent has more blocks. The Bears are 0-1 over the past two seasons when they have the same number of blocks as their opponent.

Bears 21st in attendance: Through their first six home matches this season, the Bears are averaging 946 fans per match, that ranks 21st nationally. Hawaii leads the nation with an average attendance of 7,015. Baylor ranks sixth among Big 12 schools, Nebraska is second nationally (3,474), Texas is 11th (1,662), Kansas State is 16th (1,221), Texas A&M is 18th (1,129) and Colorado is 20th (950).

Other Baylor attendance figures: Baylor's first home match of the 2000 season drew a crowd of 726 fans. That is the second-largest, home-opener crowd in school history behind only the Sept. 12, 1997 match against UCLA that drew a crowd of 1,163. Eight of the 10 largest crowds in school history have come during head coach Brian Hosfeld's tenure, and three of those have come during the 2000 season.

Young Nicholas sets two BU records: Freshman outside hitter Stevie Nicholas put down a career-high 34 kills at Missouri for her fifth straight match of at least 20 kills. She now has recorded at least 10 kills in each of her first 12 collegiate matches, breaking the school record to begin a career. No surprise, Elisha Polk is the player Nicholas matched. Polk totaled 160 kills during her span in 1996, an average of 4.32 kills per game. Thus far, Nicholas has 205 kills. The Fullerton, Calif., native leads the team with 5.83 kills per game, which is also tops in the Big 12 Conference. The next closest person is Colleen Smith of Texas Tech, averaging 5.05 kills per game. Nicholas' 34 kill-performance against Missouri is also a school record for kills in a match by a freshman and ranks third overall all-time at Baylor. If it goes five, flip a coin: Baylor is 12-11 in five-game matches under fifth-year head coach Brian Hosfeld after topping Kansas 3-2. Prior to that, the Bears had dropped their last four five-gamers, dating back to last season. Two of those three contests saw Baylor build a 2-0 lead before dropping three straight games. Baylor was 4-4 in five-game matches during the 1999 season with wins over Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado and Oklahoma.

Two and out: Dropping a match after winning the first two games is nothing new for the Bears. Last season, both Texas A&M and Colorado reversed the tide against BU and overcame two-game deficits. There have been eight occasions in the history of Baylor volleyball in which the Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but could not close out the match.

Atkinson fourth, moving in on third: Senior outside hitter Dana Atkinson collected 25 digs against Texas A&M, the 73rd time in her career that she has reached double-figures in digs. She now has 1,335 in her career, ranking fourth all-time at Baylor. Next on the school's career chart is Jenny DeLue, who amassed 1,344 from 1990 to 1993. Atkinson has tallied 10 or more digs in 11 of 16 matches this season and is averaging 4.28 digs per game over the last five matches.

Stevie Nicholas named Athlete of the Week: For the first time in the history of Baylor's volleyball team, a freshman was honored with conference player of the week honors Monday when Stevie Nicholas was so honored by the Big 12. 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.

Stevie Nicholas gets more hardwood: Freshman outside hitter Stevie Nicholas averaged 5.89 kills, 3.33 digs and 1.00 blocks per game en route to earning all-tournament honors at the Starwoods Plaza Wildcat Classic. She tallied a career-high 20 kills twice on the weekend, first against Santa Clara and then against New Mexico State. Nicholas also earned all-tournament honors at the Rice Tournament during the first weekend of the season.

Baylor cruises past field at Rice: Baylor said good morning, good afternoon and good night to four consecutive opponents en route to its seventh regular-season tournament title during head coach Brian Hosfeld's tenure last weekend at the Rice University Tournament in Houston. The Bears defeated North Texas, Louisiana Tech, Texas-Pan American and host Rice, each by the score of 3-0. In the 18 years of Baylor volleyball prior to naming Hosfeld as head coach in 1996, the Bears captured just six regular season tournament titles and five of those came in the 1990s.

Nicholas dominates Rice Tournament: Freshman sensation Stevie Nicholas made her presence felt in her first weekend of collegiate action. The Fullerton, Calif., native tallied 69 kills and 12 blocks, averaged 5.75 kills per game and attacked at a .379 percentage at the Rice Tournament. That performance earned her tournament most valuable player honors, becoming the first-ever Baylor freshman to be named MVP of a tournament. Prior to this Elisha Polk had come the closest, garnering offensive MVP honors of the 1996 Dr Pepper/American Airlines Invitational hosted by Baylor.

Kenon sets record, named all-tournament: Junior rightside hitter Tatiana Kenon joined Stevie Nicholas on the all-tournament team last weekend. She averaged 3.55 kills and 0.73 blocks per game while hitting at a .365 clip. Her most impressive outing of the weekend came Saturday against Texas-Pan American. Kenon put down 17 kills in 22 attempts without committing an error. In doing so, the San Antonio, Texas, native broke the school record for kills in a game without an error. The mark was previously held by Cory Sivertson, who tallied 15 kills in 16 errorless attempts Oct. 7, 1992 against Rice. This was also the first time in Kenon's career to earn all-tournament honors. However, she has received hardwood before, last season Kenon was named player of the week by both the Big 12 Conference and the AVCA during the first week of November after posting a triple-double (19 kills, 10 digs, 10 blocks) against Colorado.

Atkinson aces five again: Senior outside hitter Dana Atkinson matched a personal career high with five service aces in one match Sept. 2 against Texas-Pan American. Atkinson recorded one in the first game, two in the second game and two more in game three. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native also had five service aces Sept. 21, 1999 against Iowa State. In that match, Atkinson closed out game two with five straight aces.

Head coach Brian Hosfeld: Baylor is in its fifth season under the direction of Brian Hosfeld. During his tenure, the Bears have compiled a 85-67 overall record and a 34-51 mark in the rugged Big 12 Conference. Last season, Hosfeld led the Bears to the greatest season in the program's 22-year history. Baylor posted a 26-9 record and finished fifth in the conference at 13-7. The 1999 Bears matched the school record for wins in a season and shattered the standard for conference wins. The season culminated with the Green and Gold making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. There, Baylor knocked off Temple in the first round before falling to eventual national champion Penn State. Hosfeld holds the highest winning percentage in school history. He stands third all-time at Baylor in total wins and has amassed the most conference wins of any coach in school history.

Gray, Lee complete coaching staff: Baylor will sport two new assistant coaches this season in Frank Gray and Jaimie Lee. Gray comes to Waco from Regis University in Colorado, where he worked with Division II coaching legend Frank Lavrisha. He is a 1994 graduate of the University of Colorado. Lee, who was a three-time Big East Conference Player of the Year honoree at Notre Dame, joins the staff after spending one year with the United States Professional Volleyball league touring team under the direction of world-renowned coach Arie Selinger. Lee is a 1998 Cum Laude graduate of Notre Dame.

Baylor on the web: Baylor volleyball information can be accessed 24 hours a day at the school's new athletic website Fans and media alike can find the latest news and notes on the site along with match recaps, box scores, player features, player and coach bios and various other informational resources. Baylor volleyball matches are also webcast live on the website, a link to the webcast will be on the front page at least 30 minutes prior to match time.



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