Sept. 24, 2009

Courtesy of Baylor Athletics

WACO, Texas - Baylor's 24th ranked volleyball got a triple-double from senior Taylor Barnes and controlled the match in a 3-0 sweep (25-23, 25-19, 33-31) over No. 11 Iowa State on Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center. The win marked the highest-ranked team that Baylor has defeated in program history.

"Our whole message was to be the most disciplined team on the court," head coach Jim Barnes said. "We knew if we could focus it point-by-point that this team was good enough to beat that team. And we proved it. That was the best teamwork at Baylor since I have been here."

As Iowa State tried to stop Baylor's big guns, the Bears kept spreading the ball to all their options with six players with at least five kills. The Cyclones keyed in on outside hitter Katie Sanders and middle blocker Anna Breyfogle, but Barnes, the setter, spread the ball to Ashlie Christenson, Torri Campbell, and took some of the offense on her own shoulders with a season-high 10 kills. Barnes dished out 39 assists, and along with her 10 kills and 11 digs, recorded the first triple-double of the season for Baylor. Christenson led the way with 11 kills, while Campbell added 10.

"They made sure they were going to stop Katie (Sanders) and Anna (Breyfogle)," Barnes said. "And they put two blockers on them, but the rest of our team really stepped up. Everybody else stepped up and made great plays to make them pay for focusing on those two."

On defense, Baylor was nearly perfect, racking up a three-set season high of 79 digs, including five in double figures. Allison King continued her streak of matches with at least 10 digs to 11, chalking up a team-high 17. Sanders added 16, while Barnes, Caitlyn Trice and Jordan Rice had 11, 12, and 10, respectively. Three Bears recorded six blocks in the match, including Breyfogle, Campbell and Elizabeth Graham.

"Taylor (Barnes) was aggressive tonight, and when she plays that way she is, I think, one of the best setters in the nation," Barnes said. "It was all set up by our passers. They did a great job of making her a threat. When she is doing that it really feeds the rest of our offense."

It was an all-around good effort by the Bears, who kept the pressure on Iowa State, getting at least 17 kills in each set. Baylor hit .222, but made just 18 errors in 153 attacks. On the flip side, ISU libero Ashley Mass had 33 digs, but only one other Cyclone was in double figures with Victoria Henson's 12.

The teams traded points to open the first set, but Baylor was able to get separation at 19-19 with a 3-0 run on a kill by Christenson and two kills in a row by Katie Sanders. The Cyclones put up a fight closing to within one, but Anna Breyfogle spiked the ball hard off the floor for a set-clinching point, as well as a tone-setter.

The Bears carried the momentum into the second set, getting out to a 3-1 lead on kills by Graham and Campbell. Iowa State took a brief lead at 7-6, but a kill by Sanders and a timely block assist by Barnes and Breyfogle put the Bears up to 11-9. Baylor increased its lead to three at 17-14 on a second-touch kill by Barnes. And after an ISU timeout, BU kept the crowd rolling with back-to-back kills from Christenson and Campbell to force another ISU timeout. The Bears increased the lead to 24-18 on a kill from Christenson, and finished it of 25-19 on a spike by Campbell.

In the third set, the Bears showed their grit, playing from behind most of the set. The Cyclones led by as many as three at 10-7, but Baylor closed on a kill from Barnes and an ISU error to 10-9. A kill by ISU's Henson pushed the lead to three, but BU responded with three straight points to tie the score at 18 apiece after two Cyclone attack errors. With the score tied at 22, BU seized its first lead of the set on a block by Graham and Campbell. Then the teams traded a barrage of points before ISU cracked. With the Cyclones clinging to a 31-30 lead, they burst their own bubble with a service error and then an overpass which Breyfogle spiked off the floor, setting up match point. With ISU receiving, Breyfogle and Sanders read the play and blocked Kelsey Peterson for an emphatic win.

The Bears (13-1, 2-1 Big 12) continue their Big 12 slate on Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Ferrell Center against the University of Kansas at 1 p.m.