The Baker Orange

Wildcats win two, defeat Point Loma

Story by Chris Duderstadt

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The Baker volleyball team is not wasting any time in preparing for the competition it will face in conference play.

The Wildcats began the season in San Diego, Calif., in the Seaside Invitational last weekend, going up against three top 25-ranked teams.

“I think it allows us to tell us where we are,” senior Brooke Pryor said. “We’ll have more confidence to play top teams later in the season.”

BU jumped out to an early lead against No. 3 California Baptist University on Aug. 27 by winning the first set 25-18, but lost the next three sets 25-20, 25-22, 25-23.

Later that day, the ‘Cats bounced back to beat No. 14 Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.) in straight sets, 25-20, 25-21, 25-22.

Pryor and sophomore Jana Boss led the offensive attack for the Wildcats.

Pryor had a total of 26 kills in the two games, in large part due to Boss’ 59 assists.

“I think we met our expectations,” Boss said. “I think we really stepped it up.”

Baker came back with another sweep in its first match Saturday, defeating San Diego Christian University, 25-18, 25-23, 25-19.

The ‘Cats ended the day being swept by No. 2 Concordia University (Calif.) 25-15, 25-14, 25-22, but the team was still pleased with its overall performance in the invitational.

“I thought it went really well,” Pryor said. “I didn’t expect that we would play as evenly with highly ranked teams. I’m really proud of the team.”

Pryor recorded another 19 more kills in two games on Saturday and Boss added 44 assists.

BU’s defensive star of the invitational was junior Brooke Allen, who tallied 65 digs in the four games.

The schedule does not get much easier for the Wildcats as they head to Omaha for the Bellevue Tournament Friday and Saturday to play two more top 25-ranked teams.

BU plays No. 18 Morningside College and Concordia University (Neb.) on Friday and wraps up the tournament on Saturday against No. 20 Doane College and Midland Lutheran College.

“We are hoping for the same attitude and intensity as last week,” Pryor said. “We want to continue to give ranked teams a run for their money.”

The Wildcats finished 32-4 last season, but the nonconference schedule was not as difficult last year, preventing the team from breaking into the top 25.

BU was 9-1 in conference play last season, but lost to Evangel University in the second round of the HAAC Playoffs.

Head coach Kathy Allen and the Wildcats are hoping the tougher competition will better prepare the team for a conference scheudle which includes Evangel and defending conference champion Lindenwood University.

“I think the harder the competition early will help us find out where we’re at,” Allen said. “Playing well in these matches should give us a confidence booster later on in the season.”

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