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Volleyball hustles to gain ground

Nov. 17, 1999



With four games left in its season, the No. 22 Baylor volleyball team is looking to gain ground on the top four teams in the Big 12 Conference, starting at 7 tonight with a match against Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

Baylor (22-7 overall, 10-6 in the Big 12) is currently tied for fifth in the conference standings with the University of Colorado. The University of Nebraska leads all teams with a 13-3 conference mark, while a three-way tie between Texas A&M University, Kansas State University and the University of Texas stands one game back at 12-4.

But the Bears said there will not be any scoreboard watching.

'We can't wish on anyone else to win or lose,' sophomore middle blocker Carol Selman said. 'We have to take care of ourselves. Tech took Texas to five games and we took Texas to five games so we have to be ready.'

Leading the Red Raiders (16-13 overall, 5-11 in the conference) is Colleen Smith, a 6-foot-7-inch junior outside hitter. Although Smith is Tech's most recognizable player, she is not the only player about whom Baylor must be concerned. Freshman outside hitter Ann Romjue and senior middle blocker Lori Garber both stand more than six feet tall and give the Red Raiders huge barriers at the net.

Selman said Baylor will not change its offense to adjust to Tech's height advantage at the net.

'We know who caused us problems last time,' she said. 'If someone went down the line on us 20 times, then we'll work to defend that, but we're not going to change just because they're tall.'

Smith leads Texas Tech with 314 kills, with Romjue and Garber close behind her. Romjue is tops on the team in digs with 342, and Garber leads the squad in blocks with 122. Sophomore setter Skydra Orzen ranks sixth in the Big 12 with an average of 12.64 assists per game.

Baylor will be without the services of Kimmy Scott for tonight's match and for the foreseeable future as the

sophomore defensive specialist has mononucleosis. In her absence, sophomore middle blocker Sunny Nicholas has been forced to play the back row.

'Sunny is stepping into that role and has really held her own,' head Coach Brian Hosfeld said. 'That can kind of mess with your mind when you have to play six rotations instead of three, but she's doing the job.'