By Cody Soto
Baylor volleyball looks to shake off its three-match losing streak as it returns to Waco on Friday night to face Big 12 opponent Kansas at the Ferrell Center.
The Bears (10-8, 1-3) have yet to win a match since the team’s five-set win over Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., on Sept. 27. Since then, they have dropped matches to Texas Tech at home and away at TCU and No. 2 Texas.
During Baylor’s match on Tuesday, Texas held the Bears to a .047 hitting percentage and took the three-set sweep in Austin. The Bears were also well out-blocked at the net and forced too many attack errors to drop the match.
Junior outside hitter Andie Malloy continues to lead the way and holds Baylor’s top spot in kills per set (3.94). Freshman outside hitter Katie Staiger is not far behind her and contributes approximately 3.16 kills per set. With the three Big 12 losses, Baylor still leads the conference in kills per set (13.77).
Baylor faces the Jayhawks in its fifth conference matchup and second at home. Kansas (12-5 0-3) came into conference play with an impressive 12-2 season record with losses only coming from a five-set loss to Lipscomb and a three-set loss to No. 3 Penn State.
Kansas’ most recent Big 12 match was a four-set loss to No. 2 Texas at home, where the Jayhawks took set three 25-21. The team also has losses five-set losses to both Kansas State and Oklahoma so far this season.
Senior outside hitter Chelsea Albers leads Kansas with 3.22 kills per set with a .262 hitting effort. She is the only player to average three kills per set, but three other Jayhawks are right behind her. Senior outside hitter Sara McClinton and freshman Madison Rigdon contribute with 2.49 and 2.39 kills per set respectively.
Sophomore defensive specialist Cassie Wait leads the back row with 4.67 digs per set for the Jayhawks. Coverage in the front row is spread between Albers, freshman middle blocker Kayla Cheadle and sophomore Tayler Soucie with over 40 blocks on the season.
Freshman setter Ainise Havili holds the setter position for Kansas and averages 11 assists per set. Baylor is ranked third in assists per set (12.77), while Kansas stands at No. 5 (12.61).
Defensively speaking, Kansas and Baylor look to have a very defensive game as both teams enter the match with similar defensive statistics. The Jayhawks edge the Bears in blocks, but Baylor surpasses Kansas in digs per set.
Both teams have proven to be strong during their respective non-conference schedules, but neither has the winning record in conference to prove it. Baylor and Kansas are both at the bottom of the conference record list, sitting at eighth and ninth place respectively.
Coach Barnes and the Bears look to turn around their conference performance on Friday in hopes of a win over Kansas. The team encourages fans to wear black in efforts to “blackout” the Jayhawks. The match is set for 7 p.m. at the Ferrell Center.