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Fighting Bears beat Kansas for first home win

Nov. 4, 1997

By Elizabeth Harris

Sports Reporter for The Baylor Lariat

The Baylor Fighting Bears volleyball team recorded the first home win of the season this weekend against Kansas University 3-1 at the Ferrell Special Events Center. The Bears had a chance to sweep the Kansas schools, but came up short against Kansas State University 1-3.

The Bears have now defeated Kansas University twice this season, but have also lost twice to the Kansas State Wildcats.

The individual players had worked extra hard during last week's practice with the intention of coming together as a better team for the Kansas games, according to some players interviewed last week. The exemplified effort put forth for this weekend made Saturday's loss an especially disappointing one. Head Coach Brian Hosfeld acknowledged some bright spots in the Bear's performance, but overall was not pleased with his team's effort.

'We played better when we decided to and that is the difference,' Hosfeld said. 'We just have to move and work harder.'

The Fighting Bears' record is now 14-11 overall and 4-7 in conference action. Meanwhile, the Wildcats improve with the victory over Baylor to a 17-7 overall record and 8-4 in conference.

'We are going to be the under-dog in every game we play and we're going to have to fight and scrap for every win,' Hosfeld said. 'The match against KSU was a golden opportunity for us and we let it pass by.'

Elisha Polk, sophomore outside hitter, recorded a double-double in both matches this weekend, with 25 kills and 10 defensive digs against Kansas and 20 kills and 11 digs against KSU. Polk only needs 33 more kills to surpass a school record of 250 conference kills from 1996. She currently has 217. Her career kills total 918, which places Polk fifth on the school's career kills list. She has attempted a total of 2,240 kills in her career.

'Polk is one of the top 20 players in the nation as far as kills go,' Hosfeld said. 'She is ranked No. 2 in the Big 12.'

Kansas State Head Coach Jim McLaughlin said his team's goal was to shut down Polk.

'We didn't do that early on, but we did late in the match, and I was pleased with our adjustments,' McLaughlin said.

Senior team captain Suzanne Scott, outside hitter, also finished the weekend with two double-doubles, recording 11 kills and 12 digs against KSU. Kia Young, sophomore middleback, rounded out the offensive attack with 10 kills of her own. Young also set a new career-high in block assists with eight against KSU. Jen Harris, freshman setter, registered 54 assists against KU and 57 against KSU. Leading the Bear's defense was Dana Atkinson, freshman outside hitter, recording a match-high 16 digs.

Hosfeld identified a Bear weakness as a young team taking effect because the younger players do not yet know how to win.

'There is a numbness about the team due to so many losses,' Hosfeld said.

According to the coach, the team is anxious to take Texas when they travel to Austin this weekend. The Bears will go on the road to play No. 9-ranked University of Texas at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Austin and No. 12-ranked Texas A&M University at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in College Station.

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