Northern Colorado defeats Big 12 foe Baylor with ease
By PARKER COTTON
GREELEY — An impressive offensive showing and dominate defensive effort helped the Northern Colorado volleyball team make quick work of Baylor University Saturday evening at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion to run its record to 2-0 in the young season.
Cunningham led all players with 13 kills, Wilson was next with 12 and Spaustat added 10. The trio committed just four errors combined, and Northern Colorado had only 10 as a team.
"I like how balanced we are. I think that's what's making us tough to defend right now," head coach Lyndsey Oates said. "(Against Cal Poly) our middles led us in kills, tonight our outsides lead us in kills, so I'm really pleased with where we're at."
Baylor was held to hitting percentages in the three sets of .229, .059 and .195, respectively, and totaled 18 attack errors. UNC senior libero Merideth Johnson led all players with 16 digs, but four other Bears notched four or more, rounding out a solid defensive night.
"That's part of our identity this year," Oates said of the total team effort. "(Johnson's) leadership is really contagious defensively, and our team responds to that."
Junior middle blocker Brianna Strong added seven kills and a game-high three block assists. Freshman setter Ashley Guthrie collected 40 assists and six digs in her second career match, all the while showing the fans and her coach her enthusiasm after every point won with emphatic leaps and fist bumps.
"She's a very calm player until the end of the point," Oates said. "She is very mature in that position and then she does get excited with a block or a great offensive play, and our team really feeds off that."
Oates added that her Bears will have to remain aggressive against Colorado State Tuesday, citing the importance of scrappy defense and impeccable serving. That match will take place at 7 p.m. at Moby Arena in Fort Collins.