By Cody Soto
Baylor volleyball started out Big 12 play with a hard fought five-set win over Kansas State Saturday night (13-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12) in Manhattan, Kan.
The Bears (10-5, 1-0 Big 12) used a strong effort in the final two sets after falling behind 2-1 in the match. Baylor’s win snapped the Wildcats’ 11-game home win streak this season.
Saturday’s win was also the first road match victory for Baylor in Manhattan since Nov. 13, 2010.
Freshman outside hitter Katie Staiger led all hitters with a season and career high 20 kills and an impressive .364 attack percentage in the 5-set thriller.
Senior outside hitter Nicole Bardaji added 11 kills in the match, and middle hitter Adrien Richburg had nine kills.
Junior setter Amy Rosenbaum led all players with 45 assists and contributed 12 digs for her fourth double-double this season.
Freshman libero Ashley Myer had a career-high 15 digs from the back row. Sophomore middle hitter Sam Hill also posted nine kills and six blocks in the 5-set win.
Although the Bears were limited to a .152 hitting effort in the match, Baylor’s 53 kills helped the team in crucial plays throughout the game.
Baylor had a disastrous start in the opening set, and they were unable to gain any rhythm and quickly dropped the first set 25-13 to Kansas State (13-2, 0-1 Big 12). The Bears jumped on an early lead to route the Wildcats 25-18 in the second set, knotting up the match 1-1 going into the locker room.
Baylor fell behind once more in the third set, but they were able to shake off nine set points before an attacking error gave Kansas State the third set win 25-23. The Bears then rallied back and took the next set 25-22, forcing a fifth and deciding set.
Baylor used its .350 hitting percentage and used eight kills to pull away and win the fifth set 15-12 to take the match 3-2. The Bears did not trail the entire fifth set, and the match was the first road win to open Big 12 play since Baylor defeated Iowa State in on Sept. 26, 1997.
Baylor will return home Wednesday for its Big 12 home opener against Texas Tech. First serve at the Ferrell Center is set for 7 p.m.