Lori Baird earned her fourth MWC Player of the Week award this season, the most of any individual in the conference.
Nov. 24, 2008
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - After a three-set win over Wyoming and a 3-1 victory over then-No. 15 Colorado State last weekend, Lori Baird earned her sixth Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honor after helping the Utes capture their third MWC regular-season title in school history, the conference office announced Monday.
Baird led Utah to a Mountain West Conference title-clinching sweep this weekend at Crimson Court with wins over Wyoming and No. 15 Colorado State, averaging 3.14 kills and 1.43 blocks per set in the final weekend of the conference season. Baird finished with a team-high nine kills on just 14 attempts and a single attack error for a match-high-tying .571 hitting percentage (9-1-14) in leading the Utes to a three-set sweep of Wyoming last Thursday.
Baird posted a team-high 13 kills to lead Utah to its third MWC championship in school history with a fourth-set win against CSU last Saturday. She converted 13 kills on 25 swings for a .440 hitting percentage (13-2-25) to go along with a match-high-tying six blocks and four digs.
After suffering a first-set defeat, the second set of the match proved to be the critical juncture of the contest. Down 23-20 in the second set, the Utes turned the tables on the Rams with a 4-1 run to tie the second set at 24 points apiece. After dropping the next point, Utah responded with a set-finishing three-point run to pull out a 27-25 second-set win. The Utes outhit the Rams .256 to .170 in the set and both turned in four team blocks apiece, while Baird led the way for Utah with six kills on 11 swings for a .545 hitting percentage.
During Utah's 14-2 conference season, Baird averaged a team-high 3.11 kills per set on a .339 hitting percentage and also led Utah with a .160 block-per-set average.
Baird has won the award six times in her career and four times this season, the most of any individual in the conference. A Ute player has earned the award six times since Oct. 6, with middle blocker Emillie Toone taking the accolade on Oct. 13 and Nov. 3.
No. 21 Utah concludes its regular season at the 30th annual Pacific Bankers Classic this weekend. The Utes taken on Nevada at 5 p.m., in Friday's first round, then will face either Portland or Pacific at 5 or 7 p.m., on Saturday.