Underclassmen to play key role against BuffsOct. 4, 2000
By AMETHYST HENSLEY
The Baylor volleyball team will look for its first win in Boulder, Colo., tonight at 7 p.m. in the Coors Events Center when the Bears battle the University of Colorado Buffaloes.
Baylor has a record of 9-5 overall and is 3-3 in conference action heading into the one-day trip.
The Bear's record improved after sweeping the University of Oklahoma on Saturday.
The Buffaloes are an even 6-6 overall and 2-3 in conference. They have had a tough home season so far, losing to Santa Clara, Colorado State, Wisconsin and Nebraska. All four of those teams were ranked in last week's USA Today/AVCA Coaches' Top 25 Poll, three of which were top 10 selections.
This will be the 10th meeting between Baylor and Colorado, and the Buffaloes lead the series 8-1. The Bears' lone win in the series came in the last meeting, a four-game decision last year in Waco.
Colorado comes home after a 3-0 win over Iowa State University last Wednesday. Buffalo freshman outside hitter Monique Gerlach tied a career-high with 11 kills in that match and established her career bests with six digs, four service aces and two blocks.
Sophomore Kim Taskey leads Colorado with 3.54 kills per game, and junior outside hitter Sonja Nielsen averages 3.13 kills and
a 3.11 digs per game.
However the Bears bring some very talented underclassmen of their own to the Colorado court.
Although struggling with bronchitis last week, freshman outside hitter Stevie Nicholas played all three games against OU. Despite her occasional coughs between plays, she managed 17 kills and nine digs.
With one of Baylor's strongest players feeling under the weather, the others had to fill some gaps, and they responded.
Freshman middle blocker Amy Wallace collected a career high 17 kills with only 2 errors for a .469 attacking percentage.
'I talked to my parents before the game and they said, 'Look, your best hitter, Stevie, is sick, so you're going to have to step up,'' Wallace said. 'And I think attack-wise, that's what I did.'
Freshman middle blocker Tisha Schwartz pitched in with 6 kills and formed a formidable wall at the net with her 6-foot-3-inch stature.
'These freshmen are out of control,' senior outside hitter Dana Atkinson said. 'I can't wait to come back here in a couple of years and see where we've gone.'
Against Colorado, Baylor will rely on its freshmen strongholds for a win.
'We are both defensive teams, so whoever can step up with the hitting and blocking will come out on top,' Atkinson said.