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Lady Bears aim to keep streak alive in rematch against A&M

Nov. 2, 2005

By FRED BUTTACCIO, reporter

The Lady Bears look to continue their momentum when they play Texas A&M University at 7 p.m. today at the Ferrell Special Events Center.

After suffering a loss to No. 20 Kansas State on Oct. 15, the Lady Bears have since caught fire and won four straight games, and five out of their last six.

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Steven Heldenbrand | Round Up staff
Senior setter Emily Huston, left, and senior middle blocker Stella Odion jump to block a spike against the University of Kansas on Oct. 22 at the Ferrell Special Events Center.
The Lady Bears began their streak with a 3-1 victory over A&M Oct. 19 in College Station, and the team knows the Aggies will look to return the favor.

"They're going to be hungry for this win," senior middle blocker Stella Odion said. "A&M's going to want some revenge for beating them at home."

The Bears are coming off a dramatic 3-2 victory Saturday over Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

The Lady Bears, who improved their record to 14-10 and 5-7 in the Big 12, rallied from one-game down to capture the final two games and prevail 30-27, 27-30, 23-30, 30-22, 15-13.

Junior outside hitter Nicole LeBlanc led the Bears with double-figure kills, recording her sixth straight double-double with 15 kills, 11 digs and five blocks.

Junior middle blocker Desiree Guilliard-Young was a force with 10 kills and a career-high 12 blocks, moving her into sixth place on Baylor's all-time blocks list.

Odion hit .381 with 12 kills and 6 blocks, while senior outside hitters Kelly Spriggs and Melanie Hamerly had 11 kills each.

A win over Texas A&M would be a big step in continuing the team's progress up the Big 12 ladder.

With postseason play lingering around the corner, every game is becoming crucial because the race is so tight this year.

"Besides the top three teams, every team is meshed in there together with only a game or half a game separating them," LeBlanc said.

Baylor is led offensively by LeBlanc, who ranks eighth in the Big 12 with 3.66 kills per game and 12th in the conference with 2.96 digs per game.

Odion, who ranks 10th in the Big 12 with a .319 hitting percentage, is also a key component to the offensive side of the ball.

On defense, Baylor is anchored by Guilliard-Young, who ranks second in the conference with 1.91 blocks per game in Big 12 matches.

The Lady Bears' consecutive winning streak could make a big step in accomplishing its team goal of finishing the season strong and making a push toward the NCAA tournament with a win tonight.

"We are really looking forward to coming out strong, improving the things we have been working on in practice and applying them to A&M the second time around," Guilliard-Young said.

A&M is coming off a 3-0 sweep over Oklahoma at home Saturday, yet the team lost four in a row before the victory.

A win over Texas A&M would establish momentum for the Lady Bears as they head to Austin on Saturday to face the No. 14 University of Texas Longhorns.