Coming off her best game of the year, junior Sunny Nicholas will look to duplicate her numbers as the Bears host Kansas State Wednesday.
Oct. 24, 2000
Bears host Kansas State in crucial Big 12 match: Baylor will return home Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. match against Kansas State. The Bears enter the match with a 12-8 overall record and a 5-6 mark in the Big 12 Conference. The Wildcats come to Waco at 14-5 and 8-3.
The Kansas State Series
This will be the 11th meeting between Baylor and Kansas State with the Wildcats holding a 7-3 lead in the series. The Bears took the first meeting in three games during the 1993 season in Manhattan. The two teams did face each other again until the first season of Big 12 play in 1996. Kansas State won each of the first six meetings as conference foes before Baylor swept last season's series. The Bears were the only team in the conference to sweep K-State last season with four-game triumphs both at home and in Manhattan. Kansas State defeated Baylor 15-7, 15-10, 15-11 in Manhattan earlier this season. Baylor is 2-4 all-time in Manhattan and 1-3 all-time against the Wildcats in Waco. The two teams have never met on a neutral court.
Sunny Nicholas enjoys career night at Texas Tech: Junior middle blocker Sunny Nicholas posted her best match of the season and one of the best matches of her career Saturday at Texas Tech. The Fullerton, Calif., native established a career high with 25 kills, eclipsing her previous best by three. On the night, she hit .449 with only three errors in 49 swings. Nicholas also had a season-high 12 digs on the evening for her second double-double of the season.
Atkinson, Stevie Nicholas put up big numbers against Raiders: Senior outside hitter Dana Atkinson tallied a career-high 36 digs against Texas Tech, the second-highest match total in school history. Only Elisha Polk's Big 12 Conference record of 39 last season against Texas was better. Atkinson also had 11 kills on the night for her second double-double of the season, the other was with 14 kills and 20 digs against Texas Tech earlier in the season. Freshman outside hitter Stevie Nicholas, meanwhile, turned in another night of impressive numbers. Her 30 kills against the Raiders tied for ninth all-time at Baylor, making her the first freshman in school history with two 30-kill matches (34 at Missouri, Sept. 23). Nicholas also posted a career-high 29 digs against Tech, coming one dig shy of posting the first 30-kill, 30-dig match in school history.
Atkinson moves into third on digs chart: Senior outside hitter Dana Atkinson tallied a match-high 16 digs Tuesday against Texas Christian. That pushed her career total to 1,360, moving the Huntington Beach, Calif., native into sole possession of third place all-time at Baylor. Atkinson entered the match tied with Jenny DeLue (1990-1993) for third with 1,344 career digs. Next on the list is Elisha Polk (1996-1999), who ended her career with 1,507. Through the first 19 matches of the season, Atkinson is averaging 11.16 digs per match. If she continues at that pace, she would end the regular season with 1,494 career digs.
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 4-8 mark in the other 12 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 an 19-14 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.
Schwartz coming of age: Freshman middle blocker Tisha Schwartz has shown plenty of growth in the past three weeks. Last Saturday against Iowa State, she collected a career-high 13 kills, reaching the 10-kill plateau for the first time in her career. In that match, she hit .480 with five blocks. It marked the third time in her career that she amassed at least five blocks in one match. In her last eight matches, Schwartz has averaged 1.70 kills and 1.14 blocks per game while hitting .351.
Bears slip to 24th in attendance: Through seven home matches this season, the Bears are averaging 890 fans per match, that ranks 24th nationally. Hawaii leads the nation with an average attendance of 6,987. Baylor ranks sixth among Big 12 schools, Nebraska is second nationally (3,505), Texas is 13th (1,592), Kansas State is 16th (1,256), Texas A&M is 18th (1,234) and Colorado is 23rd (941).
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.
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 12-12 in five-game matches under fifth-year head coach Brian Hosfeld after falling at Texas Tech. 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.
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.
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.
Head coach Brian Hosfeld: Baylor is in its fifth season under the direction of Brian Hosfeld. During his tenure, the Bears have compiled a 88-69 overall record and a 37-53 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 http://www.GoBaylorBears.com. 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.