By Cody Soto
Baylor volleyball dropped its final three non-conference games last weekend at the University of Texas at San Antonio Classic in San Antonio. The team was winless during the weekend, falling to Louisiana State University twice and host UTSA to wrap up the tournament.
Junior setter Amy Rosenbaum and sophomore middle hitter Sam Hill were named to the all-tournament team as Rosenbaum contributed 144 assists in three games and Hill had 20 kills and 17 block assists.
On Friday, Baylor and LSU (5-4) faced off in the tournament’s first match. The Bears lost in four sets, 23-25, 25-19, 26-28, 19-25.
Despite the loss, the Bears hit .295 and had a higher attack percentage than LSU (.286) during the match. Freshman outside hitter Katie Staiger led the team with 20 kills and junior outside hitter Andie Malloy added 16 kills. Middle hitter Adrien Richburg was the third double-digit hitter with 14 for Baylor. 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.
The Bears played a tight opening set, and Baylor had the game tied up at 10-10 before the Tigers took the lead for the remainder of the set. The Bears were unable to recover and dropped the first set 25-23.
Baylor quickly took control of the second set and held a comfortable lead late. A kill by Richburg and two blocks by the front row 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 in the third set, and tied up the game at 20-20. Baylor took advantage of several LSU 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.
The Bears also dropped its second consecutive match against LSU with a 5-set loss Saturday afternoon (25-15, 22-25, 25-22, 23-25, 11-15).
The Bears hit .205 over LSU’s .172 and even totaled 67 kills in the match, but it was the Tigers’ 14 blocks against Baylor that helped in pivotal moments.
Malloy had 18 kills in the match. Rosenbaum totaled 51 assists in the match. In the back row, five players posted double-digit digs.
Both teams kept the game tight, and Baylor was able to edge the Tigers 25-15 in the opening set. LSU then took the second set 25-22 to even up the match at 1-1. The Bears took an important third set 25-22 to force LSU to play from behind.
LSU scored three straight points after being down 23-22 in the fourth set to win 25-23 and force a fifth and deciding set. Baylor was unable to gain momentum and dropped the set 15-11. LSU now leads the all-time series 5-2.
Saturday night, Baylor dropped a rough 4-set loss to host UTSA (4-7) 22-25, 18-25, 25-18, 9-25 in the final game of the UTSA Classic. This was the first time UTSA defeated Baylor since Sept. 17, 1990.
Malloy led the team with 13 kills and Staiger added 10 kills for the Bears. Junior hitter Laura Jones and Richburg contributed seven kills on the night and had a .400 attack effort for nine kills in the 4-set loss.
Baylor struggled for a majority of the night, dropping the first two sets 25-22 and 25-18, before surging back in the third set and led 24-15 before being held to three set points. The Bears took their only set win 25-18 over the Roadrunners.
Baylor then fell behind very quickly in the fourth set and was forced to call a timeout after UTSA took a 12-1 lead early in the set. The Bears couldn’t recover from the deficit and dropped the fourth set 25-9, the lowest number of points scored in a set this season. With the loss, Baylor still leads the all-time series 17-4.
The Bears (9-5) will look to erase their three-game losing streak as they travel to Manhattan, Kan. to face Kansas State in their first Big 12 matchup on Saturday. First serve is set for 7 p.m.