By Krista Pirtle
Despite the upsetting loss to Texas Tech right after an off weekend, the Baylor volleyball team bounced back with a five-set victory (25-21, 25-22, 18-25, 14-25, 15-13) Saturday over Kansas State.
“Tonight, we definitely came out strong and with a sense of urgency after getting beat by Kansas State earlier this season,” freshman utility Adri Nora said. “We knew that they were a good team, and to come out and get a win was awesome. Losing against Tech was kind of a wakeup call and showed what we needed to work on.”
Kansas State battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the number of sets at two to force fifth set.
Baylor hit at least .275 in each of its three set-wins and compiled a .233 hitting percentage on the night. Kansas State hit over .260 just once in five sets, ending with a .244 hitting percentage.
“We showed some great leadership in the fifth set, finding a way to come back and win,” head coach Jim Barnes said. “It was a terrible loss for us the other night against Texas Tech, but we backed it up with our biggest win of the year and it puts us back in the hunt to try to make a run at the NCAAs.”
Nora, playing on the right side for the first time this season, and junior middle blocker Torri Campbell led the team with a combined 32 kills.
All five Bears that registered a kill ended the night with at least 11.
“We just came out and worked hard in practice this week after our loss against Texas Tech,” Campbell said. “It feels awesome to get back in a groove, and it shows all of our hard work paying off. To get our confidence back was the biggest thing tonight, and this win gets us back on track of our goal of making it back to the NCAA tournament.”
Junior Kate Harris had a match-high 55 assists.
Defensively, senior Allison King led the team with 23 digs, while Campbell led the team at the net with four blocks.
In the first set, Baylor jumped out to a 4-1 lead with kills from Zoe Adom and Briana Tolbert, along with two KSU attack errors. The Wildcats tied it 4-4, but Baylor put together a 6-3 run with two kills from Campbell, building an 18-10 lead. Baylor finished the first set with a 25-21 finish off a kill from Adom and a block from Campbell.
Baylor overcame a slow start to the second set with a 5-0 run that included kills from Campbell and Tolbert to make it 13-10 BU. KSU tied it at 14-14, but Baylor fought back with a 3-0 run, capped by a kill from Nora and never looked back.
Kansas State showed resilience against a 2-0 Baylor lead, coming out in the third set and erasing a 13-10 deficit with a 7-2 run to eventually win the set 25-18.
Kansas State continued the momentum in the fourth set, jumping out to a 7-3 lead. Kansas State went on to win the set 25-14.
The Bears pulled through with a 15-13 win in the fifth set despite facing an early 5-3 deficit. A kill from Nora tied the set at 6-6, and three attack errors from the Wildcats put the set at 11-9. Later, up 13-12, Baylor’s Qian Zhang sandwiched two kills around a KSU point to win the set.
The Bears take a break from conference play as they travel to San Marcos to face Texas State at 6:30 p.m. today.