A trip to the windy city blew the Baker University volleyball team back to Kansas with a perfect 4-0 record in the Saint Xavier Classic in Chicago last weekend.
The 'Cats recorded wins over host Saint Xavier University in five games, Siena Heights University in three games, the University of Saint Francis Illinois in three games and Spring Arbor University in four games. Head coach Kathy Allen said she was happy with the way her team performed and its chemistry on the court.
"I don't think our kids could've played any harder than they did this weekend," she said. "They gave it everything and that's all a coach can expect."
Junior Brooke Pryor led the way for BU, dominating the frontcourt with 59 total kills on the weekend. Pryor also had two double-double matches against Saint Xavier, totaling 10 digs and 12 kills, and Spring Arbor, with 13 digs and 19 kills. Pryor's efforts in the tournament and in last week's conference victory over Avila University earned her the HAAC Hitter of the Week.
Sophomore Brooke Allen continued to dominate the backcourt as the team's libero throughout the tournament, as she added 85 digs to her list in the team's four matches. In addition, coach Allen said she was extremely pleased with the performance from freshman Jana Boss, Baker's setter. Boss totaled 145 assists on the weekend.
"She's playing like a seasoned upperclassman," coach Allen said.
Coach Allen said her expectations heading into the tournament were limited this early in the season, but the team's goal was to measure how it stacks up against other teams in the country outside of the HAAC.
"It was just one of those weekends that even when the team got behind, which we did several times in games and matches, they still stayed composed and were able to find a way to win," she said. "We stacked up pretty well."
The Wildcats will have a week to recover before they showcase their talents for the first time on their home court Friday and Saturday in the Baker Invitational. The 'Cats will face Park University at 3 p.m. and Oklahoma City University at 7 p.m. Friday in Collins Center.
Saturday, the 'Cats take on Ottawa University at 11 a.m. and the University of Sioux Falls at 3 p.m. Coach Allen said the home tournament will feature tough competition for the Wildcats, in particular the matches against Oklahoma City and Sioux Falls.
"The kids just need to go out and play as hard as they did in the (Saint Xavier) tournament," she said. "If they do that and we win, we win. If they play as hard as they did and we lose, then that's just how it is."