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Lady Bears struggle at tourney

Sept. 11, 2003

By Catherine Brown, reporter

The Lady Bears volleyball team harbored three straight losses, finishing in fourth place at the Ninth Annual Aston Amua Wahine Challenge held at the University of Hawaii last weekend.

In the first game of the tournament, the Lady Bears were defeated by the Pacific Tigers 32-30, 30-27, 24-30, 30-28.

Tisha Schwartz, a senior outside hitter, led the team with 21 kills for the night and Desiree Guilliard-Young posted a .500 hitting average as well.

'We were in a good position in the first match . . . and we just didn't finish,' head Coach Brian Hosfeld said.

In their second game, Baylor faced the No. 2 University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine. The Lady Bears lost in three games, 30-16, 30-20, 30-26.

Hosfeld said the team came out and played well in the first half of the game, but Hawaii's two-time All-American Kim Willoughby 'got on a serving terror and just shell shocked us a little bit.'

'In the third game, I thought we were real competitive with them and hit for better offensive numbers, but we just didn't quite have enough to take that game from them,' he said.

Their last day of action pitted Baylor against the Wichita State University Shockers, but ended in a third defeat, 30-24, 25-30, 30-21, 30-23.

Emily Huston, a sophomore setter, recorded a double-double for the night with 36 assists and 11 digs. Schwartz led the team with 17 kills.

'It was an opportunity to come home with a victory. I think their team had a lot more energy than ours did and didn't make quite as many errors,' Hosfeld said.

Schwartz said the Bears played tough at times but also soft and young. She said the team saw some good things that haven't happened before.

'The overall morale of the team was better, and we were working better together,' Schwartz said.

The Lady Bears already are preparing for their next match on the road against the University of Houston Cougars at 7:30 p.m. today.

Hosfeld said it will be a tough battle because Houston had some tough matches over the weekend, and both teams have developed quite a bit over the last week.

The Lady Bears will conclude games for the week at the Hampton Inn Classic, held at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla., this weekend. This will be the first time Baylor has competed in the tournament.

The Lady Bears will face Florida International on Friday and Wyoming University and Jacksonville on Saturday.

Though they have already faced Houston and Wyoming this season, Stevie Nicholas, a senior outside hitter, views that as an advantage.

'When playing anybody, whether they lost the first time or not, I think it will be good because we know them and we know what they do,' Nicholas said. 'But we have to approach them as another game.'

Hosfeld said the reason he scheduled those teams twice was to prepare the team for conference play, since Baylor plays each opponent twice.

'It will give us an early look at being able to prepare on both sides,' he said. 'We'll see how the team reacts to how we're going to prepare this week, and how we show up.'

Schwartz said she would like these upcoming games to produce more wins for the preseason while focusing on one team goal.

'I think one of our main goals right now is to come out and play the kind of volleyball that we can . . . so we can go down there ready to play,' she said.