WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Ball State freshman eager to play Kent State after recruiting drama
Tonight's match with Ohio may be the biggest conference game in five years for Ball State, but it's the following match that has a particular importance to freshman outside hitter Kylee Baker.
Baker, who was recruited by Kent State, has had Saturday's match circled on her calendar for a long time.
"I've been looking forward to this," Baker said. "I'm fired up about getting to play them and showing them what I can do."
The Golden Flashes should be well aware of what Baker can do. Kent State spent three years recruiting Baker, a native of Plainfield, Ill., trying to woo her to Kent, Ohio.
Everything changed last fall when Baker had to make her choice. Baker decided to align herself with Ball State and was announced as part of the 2010 recruiting class by former Ball State coach Dave Boos in December.
Little did she know her decision would spawn an unexpected and potentially passionate rivalry.
"They were pretty upset when I told them that I was going to come here to Ball State," Baker said. "It didn't go very well."
Three years of recruiting down the drain for Kent State, who had to switch to another plan after losing Baker.
Since then, both sides have moved on. Baker has had more immediate success with a 14-4, 4-2 record at Ball State while Kent State has posted a 10-11, 3-3 record so far. Baker ranks third on the team in kills, 185, and second in digs, 173.
For the first time since Baker informed Kent State of her decision, Baker and Kent State will be forced to acknowledge each other this weekend.
"The last thing I told them was that I'd see you on the court," Baker said.