By Shehan Jeyarajah
Coming off of a three-match losing streak, Baylor turned things around in a home tilt versus Texas Tech. The Bears (12-16, 4-8) defeated Texas Tech (9-19, 2-10) in straight sets on Wednesday in Waco. The Bears won sets 25-21, 25-19, 25-22.
Baylor trailed 7-10 in the first set but came back to tie the set at 12-12 behind an ace from freshman outside hitter Sam Hill and two kills from senior middle hitter Adrien Richburg. The Bears took a four-point lead but struggled to put the Red Raiders away. Tech cut the lead to 20-19, but Baylor managed to win the set 25-21. The Bears hit .414 in the set while holding Tech to .038.
“We wanted to stay on top of things today,” senior outside hitter Zoe Adom said. “We wanted to make sure we didn’t let them back into this game like we did against TCU.”
After Tech scored the first two points of the second set, Baylor took control 6-5. The Bears built their lead to a seemingly insurmountable 22-12 lead. The Bears would then go on to give up a 7-2 run to Tech. The Red Raiders cut the lead to 24-19 during the stretch. A service error by Tech junior outside hitter Breeann David finally ended Tech’s run, and the Bears won the set 25-19. Baylor hit .306 in the set and held Tech to .111 hitting percentage.
Texas Tech took a 3-2 lead to open the third set, but Baylor came out with a huge run again. The Bears scored five straight points to take a 7-3 lead over the Red Raiders. Tech would go on a run to take a 10-12 lead. Tech would maintain their advantage up until 17-21 until Baylor went on a massive 8-1 run to take the set and the match 25-22. The Bears hit .273 in the final set and held Tech to .159.
Sophomore middle hitter Adrien Richburg led Baylor with 11 kills and eight blocks on a .500 hitting percentage. She also added two digs in the Baylor win. Adom contributed with 11 kills and only two errors on a .375 hitting percentage.
“We really knew what they were going to do from studying tape this week,” Richburg said. “Our defense did a good job of getting balls up. Even if we didn’t get a block, we got a lot of touches.”
Sophomore outside hitter Laura Jones added nine kills, 12 digs and four blocks for Baylor. Senior libero Kayci Evans added a match-high 13 digs for Baylor.
Sophomore outside hitter Meghan Stacy and senior middle blocker Aubree Piper each had six kills for Texas Tech. Sophomore defensive specialist Emily Wright added 13 digs and junior libero Rachel Brummitt added 12 digs.
Baylor hit .321 for the match and held Tech to only a .113 hitting percentage. This was the first match since Sept. 13 against Appalachian State that Baylor has hit over .300 in a match.
“Tonight, offensively, we did a good job getting a lot of hitters involved,” head volleyball coach Jim Barnes said. “Morgan did a great job distributing the ball. It was nice to see our numbers offensively.”
The Bears finished with 10.0 blocks in the match. Five different players recorded two or more blocks for Baylor in this game.
Baylor will look to continue their success in a rematch at 7 p.m. Saturday against Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. The Bears will then play Kansas State on the road next Wednesday before playing their home finale against West Virginia on Nov. 23 against West Virginia. The Bears will end their season on the road against No. 1 Texas on Nov. 30.