By Cody Soto
Junior outside hitter Laura Jones is out for the rest of the 2014 Baylor volleyball season after suffering a torn ACL during the team’s four-set loss to Kansas on Friday night in the Ferrell Center.
“Losing Laura Jones is a big blow for us,” head coach Jim Barnes said. “She is a tremendous player and a leader for this team. She’s going to have a long recovery.”
Jones was helped off the court after going up for a kill against the Jayhawks early in the second set. The 6-foot-2-inch Plano native had four kills on 13 attempts and six digs in the 3-1 loss.
“It’s very hard not having Laura in the lineup,” freshman outside hitter Katie Staiger said. “She’s a great player and she’s hasn’t been dealt a great deck lately, but she has a great attitude that she’s going to get through it. The team is so used to adversity that we are really going to be resilient about it and focus on playing for her because she wants to be out there so bad.”
Prior to her injury, Jones was averaging 1.71 kills per set on a .111 hitting effort in the 2014 season. Although she only played in 15 matches, Jones posted an impressive .984 serve reception percentage with only one error on the season. Defensively, she had 1.17 digs per set and 32 blocks at the net.
Jones was Baylor’s leading returnee in kills after rallying for 276 in her sophomore season in 2013, averaging 2.46 per set. Barnes looks to continue running the 6-2 system in hopes of keeping three hitters in the rotation with junior outside hitter Thea Munch-Soegaard playing a significant amount of minutes in place of Jones.
“We are hoping Thea continues to come along and get her health back because we need her playing really well for the 6-2 system to work,” Barnes said. “It’s all about her being healthy. If she’s healthy, she can play well.”
Baylor travels to Norman, Okla. to play the Sooners on Saturday evening in its fifth conference matchup. Game time is set for 7 p.m.