Volleyball grabs second conference win

By Laurean Love

Baylor volleyball gained its second Big 12 victory this season by winning all three sets Wednesday night against Texas Tech (19-25, 23-25, 18-25).

The victory made head coach Jim Barnes the winningest volleyball coach in Baylor history with 130.

“I have been at a great place, and that’s what has been real special,” Barnes said. “Baylor is a great place with some great kids, and it’s been a great eight years. But we’ve still got lots of work to do; that’s for sure.”

Baylor (2-3, 13-6) recorded 51 kills for the evening, hitting at .260 with 64 digs, six blocks and four service aces.

“We try to be as consistent as possible and just do the things that we know that are going to keep us in control,” senior middle blocker Briana Tolbert said. “Keeping our tempo, keeping our pace and all sticking together, that pretty much helps us control the match.”

Tolbert had the most kills on the evening with 15. Tolbert bested Tech’s top hitters, Amanda Dowdy and Breeann David, who both had 10 kills.

“We knew it was going to be tough match. Every Big 12 match is tough, but once we won that first conference game, we didn’t want to look back,” Tolbert said.

The Bears lost their first three conference games.

“Once we got into October, coach said let go of September and focus on October,” Tolbert said. “And that’s what we have done. We have gone undefeated this month, and that’s all we can ask for and no looking back.”

Junior middle blocker Torri Campbell had 11 kills, while senior outside hitter Qian Zhang and redshirt sophomore Zoe Adom each had eight kills. Junior setter Kate Harris also added three kills.

“[Harris] was one of the top recruits in the nation. She is not a big, physical athlete, but she is a relentless competitor,” Barnes said. “She does not take a second off, and that’s what makes her special that she has an engine that just never stops.”

Harris said the Bears are gaining steam in conference play.

“Momentum is starting to come our way,” Harris said. “I am just excited to see what comes of this new Baylor team.”

Baylor started the first set slowly, down by six at 7-1, and did not take the lead until senior outside hitter Allison King’s service ace pushed the team ahead, 18-17. The Bears’ 17 kills and only five errors eventually helped them to a 25-19 win.

In the second set, Baylor had 19 kills and eight errors at .239 for a 25-23 win. Baylor totaled 15 kills and only five errors in the third set and cruised to a 25-18 win.

Baylor takes on Missouri at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Ferrell Center for the third game of a four-game homestand.