By Shehan Jeyarajah
Baylor volleyball is in Houston for this weekend’s Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup at the University of Houston. The Bears come into this tournament after their first road win of the season against Rice University on Wednesday night.
Baylor volleyball sits with a record of 5-7 heading into the weekend. Zoe Adom has led the Bears with 144 kills and 3.35 kills per set average. Sophomore outside hitter Thea Munch-Soegaard has contributed with 2.65 kills per set and 2.58 digs per set. Sophomore setter Amy Rosenbaum has 10.00 sets per set average.
Baylor has allowed teams to hit .245 while hitting .214 themselves. Where Baylor has excelled is in the block game, averaging 2.31 blocks per set compared to allowing 1.70. Baylor will look to gain momentum heading through the three-game tournament.
Baylor opens the Cup with a match tonight against SEC opponent Louisiana State University.
The Tigers opened the season on a seven-game winning streak that was finally broken after a five-set thriller against the University of Miami on a back-to-back.
Sophomore outside hitter Cati Leak leads LSU with 129 kills and 4.03 kills per set ranks her 39th in the nation.
Freshman middle blocker Briana Holman leads the Tigers with 52 blocks and a 1.73 blocks per set average. Holman’s average is third in the nation. She also has contributed with 88 kills on a .382 hitting percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Lindelow leads LSU with 115 digs, and junior setter Malorie Pardo paces the team with 11.06 assists per set.
LSU has hit .234 on the season and held teams to .178 hitting percentage. Led by Holman, LSU blocks 3.09 blocks per set while holding teams to 1.70 blocks per set. The Tigers are 2-0 in their neutral local matches.
On Saturday, Baylor plays the University of North Texas.
The Mean Green is currently 6-6 on the season with wins against Albany, Prairie View A&M, Northwestern State, Texas State, Sacramento State and UT-Arlington.
Freshman setter Amy Henard is one of the early leaders for North Texas. She leads all freshmen in the nation with 11.19 assists per set, which is 28th overall.
Sophomore outside hitter Carnae Dillard leads the Mean Green with 144 kills and 3.69 kills per set average.
Senior outside hitter Courtney Windham, a former Baylor recruit, has contributed with 89 kills on a .308 hitting percentage to go along with 44 blocks.
The Mean Green is hitting .225 on the season and hold teams to a .211 hitting percentage. North Texas also blocks 2.30 shots while holding opponents to 1.86 blocks per set. The Mean Green is 2-2 in neutral location matches.
Baylor finishes the tournament with a match against host team University of Houston.
The Cougars are currently 7-4, but come into the tournament on a three game losing streak. Houston has lost games at Texas State and in neutral location games against TCU, Ole Miss and SFA.
Freshman outside hitter Sarita Mikals leads the Cougars with 129 kills and 3.31 kills per set average. Mikals was named The American Freshman of the Week for the week of Sept. 9.
Sophomore setter Sophie Paine leads with 10.18 assists per set. Houston has a variety of international talent on the team.
Freshman outside hitter Stephanie Daxboeck is a native of Austria.
Paine and sophomore outside hitter Maddy Clarke are from Australia. Sophomore right side hitter Kadi Kullerkann hails from Estonia.
Houston currently hits .202 on the season and holds teams to .185 hitting percentage. They have 2.03 blocks per set and hold opponents to 1.95 blocks per set. Houston has yet to have played a home game heading into the tournament.
The Bears play some tough competition this weekend. They have shown signs of improvement multiple times this season but have struggled to find consistent winning team chemistry.
Baylor can make a statement this weekend before coming home for one more non-conference match to prepare for the start of Big 12 Conference play.
The Bears their Big 12 Conference schedule on Sept. 28 against Iowa State in Ames.
Baylor volleyball plays in the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup on Friday and Saturday before heading home for a match against UT-San Antonio on Tuesday.