By Cody Soto
Baylor volleyball dropped a four-set decision to Louisiana State University in its first match in the University of Texas at San Antonio Classic Friday afternoon.
Despite the loss, the Bears (9-3) hit .295 and had a higher attack percentage than the .286 LSU (3-4) posted during the match. Freshman outside hitter Katie Staiger led the team with 20 kills. Junior outside hitter Andie Malloy added 16 kills and middle hitter Adrien Richburg was the third double-digit hitter with 14 for the Bears. Richburg had an impressive .522 attack percentage on 23 attempts.
Junior setter Amy Rosenbaum led all players with 51 assists in the 4-set loss. Senior libero Hope Ogden led the back row with 17 digs and true freshman libero Ashley Myer had 12 digs in her first match for Baylor.
A big difference in Friday’s match was LSU’s 10 blocks opposed to Baylor’s four blocks. Sophomore Sam Hill’s three blocks led the Bears in the front row.
The opening set was a close one for the Bears, and Baylor had the game tied up at 10-10 before the Tigers took the lead for the remainder of the set. An LSU kill made the Bears drop the first set 25-23.
Baylor then took control of the second set and held a comfortable lead late in the game. A kill by Richburg and two blocks by the front court gave the Bears a 25-19 second set win and knotted up the match at 1-1 going into the break.
Baylor and LSU butted heads once again the third set, and tied up the game at 20-20. Baylor took advantage of several attack errors and reached set point at 24-22. LSU was able to shake off two set points before taking the lead, forcing the Bears to play from behind. The Tigers used a block and a kill to take the third set 28-26.
The Bears just couldn’t recover from the third set and trailed the entire fourth set. Baylor trailed 14-9 before head coach Jim Barnes was forced to call a timeout. The Bears continued to struggle in creating a comeback and dropped the fourth set 25-19 to lose the match 3-1 against the Tigers.
Baylor will have a chance to redeem itself as it plays LSU for a second time tomorrow at noon as part of the UTSA Classic. The Bears will close out non-conference play against host UTSA on Saturday at 5 p.m.