Bears welcome non-conference foe Rice, will travel to Manhattan, Kan. to face the K-State in Wildcats’ Big 12 opener
By Krista Pirtle
While the Baylor football team will look to improve its record to 3-0 Saturday against Rice, the Baylor (11-4) volleyball team will be playing their second Big 12 match up against Kansas State (11-3) at 7 p.m. in Manhattan, Kan.
This will be Kansas State’s first conference game of the season, coming off a seven-game win streak.
The Bears look to slow down the victorious roll of the Wildcats, who opened conference play against Baylor in 2009 to fall 1-3 in Waco.
Baylor has won the last four meetings between the two schools and looks to make it five.
One issue that the Bears have worked on all season thus far is their service game — not being able to return serves accurately.
This needs to be fixed by Saturday as Kansas State is a strong service team, ranking in the top 50 nationally in aces with an average of 1.56 per set.
After returning serves accurately, Baylor will need to attack the Kansas State defense.
In order to do that, Baylor’s front line will have to focus on their kills and getting them over the Wildcat blockers. Kansas State is No. 23 in the nation for blocks with 2,63 per game.
The Wildcat Wall has played eight games with 10 or more blocks. Part of K-State’s early success this year can be credited to sophomore middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger.
Pelger leads the Big 12 in kills averaging 4.73, but that isn’t all she can do. She also ranks among the nation’s leaders in kills (12), hitting percentage (57), blocks (69) and points (3).
Kansas State has one player with all the numbers, but Baylor’s front line consists of senior middle blocker Briana Tolbert, junior middle blocker Torri Campbell, sophomore outside hitter Zoe Adom, and freshman utility Adri Nora.
This front line of Bears is responsible for 486 kills on the season, as Baylor as a whole has 734. Plus, senior setter Brittany Ridenour has 514 assists.
Baylor is one of the top defensive teams in the Big 12 this season, averaging 17.15 digs per set to place them at second in the league. Senior libero Allison King is second in the conference individually at 5.11 digs.