By Krista Pirtle
The Baylor Lady Bears dared to be different as they finished the Fairfield Inn North Baylor Classic undefeated, battling Northern Colorado to a 3-2 finish (25-20, 22-25, 18-25, 25-18, 15-9) Friday night.
“That was sheer energy, teamwork and will because we weren’t executing,” Baylor head coach Jim Barnes said.
This was the first five-set for the Lady Bears, as all their games have been sweeps thus far.
“This game we had to come back and fight so it really showed our heart,” No. 1 senior setter Brittany Ridenour said.
Ridenour garnered All-Tournament MVP while No. 3 sophomore outside hitter Zoe Adom and No. 23 senior middle blocker Briana Tolbert earned All-Tournament honors.
For the match, Baylor finished with 61 kills at .233 and Northern Colorado had 60 kills at .193.
Adom led the way for the Lady Bears offensively with 19 kills at .308, followed by Tolbert and No. 7 junior middle blocker Torri Campbell with 12 each at .320 and .310 respectively.
“Zoe just started getting hot so I kept on feeding her the ball,” Ridenour said. “She was ripping them down so I kept on setting her.”
Adom credited all her success on the night to her teammates.
“It’s really all them,” Adom said. “I just try to feed off them, and whatever it comes out just shows. What you see is what you get.”
The first set rode on Baylor’s excitement. The Lady Bears came out and grabbed the lead right away. Colorado only came back to tie three times but couldn’t overcome the Lady Bears.
The second set the Bears of Northern Colorado fought back, edging the Lady Bears of Baylor 25-23. Northern Colorado had 15 kills and hit .312. Baylor matched them in kills but fell short in their hitting percentage with .243.
The third set Northern Colorado found the holes in the Lady Bear defense as they won 25-18. Colorado stayed consistent with 15 kills as they hit .214. Baylor could not seem to break their opponent’s defense, only recording 10 kills, and hitting a less than impressive .068.
This was the time when average teams would duck their heads and take the loss; however, Baylor dared to be different and fought back.
“It was a great team effort,” Adom said. “Nobody was down. We just had everybody talking, playing consistently. We weren’t even worrying. We were just making sure we got the game finished. Baylor pride. Just did it our way.”
Set number four saw the Lady Bears drive to be more than average as they came back and fought to a 25-18 win. Baylor improved their offensive efforts, recording 15 kills and hitting .308. Northern Colorado seemed stunned by the resolve of the Lady Bears and only recorded 10 kills, hitting at .167.
No. 9 junior setter Kate Harris came in and dominated Northern Colorado with her serve
“The big changer of the whole match I thought was Kate Harris,” Barnes said. “The way her serve took over and her defense and her energy. She’s everywhere. That serve really took over at the right time.”
The final set was decided by Baylor’s determination and energy as they had eight kills and hit an impressive .467. Northern Colorado only had five kills and hit an inferior .056.