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Volleyball claims No. 1 spot at tourney

Sept. 18, 2003

By Erica DeLeon, reporter

The Baylor volleyball team traveled to Jacksonville, Fla., last weekend to compete in the Hampton Inn Classic at Jacksonville University. The Bears came home with the title and improved their season record, 6-5.

The team faced Florida International University on Friday and defeated them in four games, 30-22, 30-28, 27-30, 30-23. Four Lady Bears had 10 or more kills, and the team posted a combined total 63 kills.

Sophomore setter Emily Huston helped set up senior outside hitter Tisha Schwartz, who led the team with 18 kills.

Defensively, Baylor held Florida International to a .138 hitting average and had 11 blocks. Andrea Vakulya, a freshman from Hungary, had a team-high 13 digs.

'I think Emily distributed the ball a little more evenly throughout the match,' head Coach Brian Hosfeld said.

Baylor faced the University of Wyoming on Saturday. They lost the match in four games, 31-29, 30-21, 23-30, 30-27. Schwartz had 25 kills, Vakulya had 19 kills and senior libero Stevie Nicholas had 16 digs.

'We're making a lot of strides,' Hosfeld said. 'As far as where we want to be, they're looking a lot closer.'

Baylor faced tournament host Jacksonville University in the championship match. The Bears jumped out to win the first game, 30-21, and rolled past Jacksonville, winning the next two games, 30-17, 30-14. The Bears put up high numbers in the kills category.

Red shirt freshman middle blocker Desiree Guilliard-Young had a .714 hitting average with 11 kills, and freshman middle blocker Nicole LeBlanc added 12 kills.

'We played good and bad at times,' Schwartz said. 'It was really nice to come out of this weekend with wins.'

Schwartz was named the most valuable player of the tournament and Vakulya was named to the all-tournament team. Schwartz and Vakulya played consistently throughout the tournament, Hosfeld said.

'For us to do well in the Big 12 they are going to have to continue to show up and play like they can,' Hosfeld said.

Capturing the Hampton Inn Classic title has given the Bears a boost in confidence, Schwartz said.

'I think, in the tournament, we saw people play with more energy and confidence than we have before,' Schwartz said.

The Bears play their first Big 12 Conference game against the University of Missouri at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ferrell Special Events Center.

'We are fired up,' Schwartz said. 'It's our first conference game, and I just think it's going to be the team who wants it the most.'