By Krista Pirtle
Baylor could not catch a break Saturday as Kansas State dominated the match 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-18.)
The Bears were out-hit .075 to .227, while the Wildcats had 19 more kills. Baylor’s total of 28 kills was a season low.
Junior middle blocker Torri Campbell and freshman utility Adri Nora led the Bears in kills with nine each. Senior setter Brittany Ridenour had 20 assists on the evening.
The Baylor defense recorded 60 digs to average three more set than the 17 dig per set mark coming into the match. Senior Allison King led the way with 17, marking her 14th consecutive match with at least 10 and 15th in 16 total matches. Junior Kate Harris added her second straight double-digit match with 10 on the night.
“Kansas State came out and played very strong tonight,” head coach Jim Barnes said. “It was just one of those games where we just didn’t play well. It was a surprise from our coaching staff because we have practiced so well lately. We just couldn’t get it going.”
The Bears never took the lead during the match as the Wildcats jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first, a 9-0 lead in the second and a 10-4 lead in the third.
League kills leader Kaitlynn Pelger had three kills and a block at the start of the first set before Baylor scored with a kill by Campbell. Down 11-5, Baylor got back to within two on a 5-1 run thanks to three consecutive blocks by Campbell and Ridenour.
An attack error by Pelger made it 16-15 KSU, but the Wildcats scored six of the next seven points to open a big lead. Outside hitter Qian Zhang and Nora both had a kill to stave off the set point, but Kathleen Ludwig finished off the set 25-19.
In the second, the Bears fought back from a 9-0 deficit to close within five at 14-9, getting kills by four different players during a 9-5 run. The Wildcats didn’t let Baylor any closer, getting two kills from Pelger and another finisher by Ludwig at the end of the set, 25-15.
Briana Tolbert held Baylor in the set early with a kill, but KSU continued its domination in a 6-1 run that gave it a 10-4 lead.
Baylor scored two in a row with a kill by Nora and a KSU error to make the score 15-9. The Wildcats then pushed the lead to 10 before closing out with a kill by Ludwig for a 25-18 win.
Baylor will take on Texas A&M at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in College Station. Baylor won both meetings in 2010.
Baylor will look to get its first conference win of the year.