Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hot-Hitting Duo Leads Baylor Over Texas Tech

Baylor accomplished what seems to be a fairly rare feat in sweeping Texas Tech 25-19, 25-23, 25-18 tonight in Waco. The Bears had two players who each recorded hitting percentages over .400 on at least 20 spike attempts, namely middle blockers Briana Tolbert, .583 (15 K, 1 E, 24 TA), and Torri Campbell, .476 (11-1-21).

I don't have a comprehensive database of all matches. However, in looking over the box scores from the matches I have written about this season -- which tend to include some of the nation's top-hitting teams -- I found few instances of two players on the same team each hitting .400 in a match on 20 or more swings.

The nation's current No. 1-ranked team, Illinois, has achieved (or nearly achieved) these criteria in a few matches. In the Middle Tennessee State tournament, against Tulsa, Erin Johnson hit .591 on 22 attempts and Anna Dorn went .522 on 23 (Liz McMahon nearly made it a trio, coming in at .421 on 19). Despite hitting .396 as a team in this match to Tulsa's .320, the Illini struggled to win in five games. In the same tournament, against Cal Poly, the Illini nearly pulled off the 2/.400/20 feat, with Johnson hitting .636 on 22 attempts and Dorn registering a .579 on 19 swings.

Minnesota has hit the mark twice this season. Against Oregon in the Penn State tourney, Katherine Harms hit .519 on 27 swings, whereas Ashley Wittman added a .417 night on 48. Then, in what shockingly was a losing effort against Kansas in the Northern Iowa tournament, Tori Dixon hit .500 on 34 attempts, whereas Wittman was .415 on 53 swings.

The Pac 12 offers a couple of near-misses. USC came close at Washington State, with Lauren Williams hitting .571 on 21 tries and Katie Fuller, .579 on 19. Stanford just missed against Duke, with Carly Wopat hitting .424 on 33 attempts and Jessica Walker, .421 on 19.

If you know of other teams who had two players in a single match hit .400 on 20 or more spike attempts, please list them in the Comments area. A web link to the box score to document the occurrence would be nice.

Instances discovered after initial posting:

Texas Tech (vs. UConn) in the TCU tournament: Breeann David .500 (24); Miara Cave .476 (21); and Amanda Dowdy .417 (36). A triple .400!

Courtesy of James at "Tennessee has done it three times this year -- once with three players meeting the criteria in one match:"
vs Virginia Tech: Leslie Cikra (14-3-23) .478; DeeDee Harrison (12-1-21) .524; Kelsey Robinson (24-6-44) .409
vs Florida: DeeDee Harrison (12-3-22) .409; Carly Sahagian (19-4 -35) .429
vs Arkansas: Leslie Cikra (11-1-22) .455; DeeDee Harrison (15-3-26) .462

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