By Cody Soto
Things did not go as planned for Baylor volleyball on Wednesday.
The Bears fell to Big 12 opponent Kansas 25-10, 25-14, 25-23 in disappointing road loss in Lawrence, Kan.
The Bears (13-12, 3-7 Big 12) came into the match with two conference wins over Iowa State and Texas Tech and were looking for their third-straight win. The loss was the second straight sweep suffered in Lawrence and pushes the Bears back in conference standings.
Offensively, Baylor didn’t click like it wanted to and finished the match with a .068 hitting percentage on 103 attempts. The defense couldn’t pick up the slack and only returned Kansas’ (17-7, 5-5 Big 12) .351 attack percentage with 36 digs in the three-set loss.
Junior outside hitter Andie Malloy led the Bears with nine kills and eight digs against the Jayhawks. Sophomore outside hitter Sam Hill added four kills on a .400 hitting effort, and junior outside hitter Adrien Richburg added three. Senior outside hitters Tori Cox and Nicole Bardaji and freshman hitter Katie Staiger had two kills in the sweep.
Kansas dominated Baylor’s serve-receive rotation and took six aces in the match. Eight service errors crippled any momentum for the Bears. Freshman libero Jana Brusek led Baylor with 14 digs in the match, followed by junior setter Amy Rosenbaum with four. Rosenbaum had 21 assists in the loss after posting over 50 assists in last week’s four-set win in Lubbock.
The opening set was disastrous for the Bears. Bardaji scored the first of two kills for Baylor in the first set, but the Jayhawks’ .480 hitting percentage buried the Bears and forced the team to call a timeout with a 9-1 deficit early. The Bears only tallied eight digs and hit a disappointing -.185 attack percentage to quickly drop the first set.
Baylor came out stronger in the beginning of the second set but let a two-point deficit grow into a 14-9 lead for Kansas. Coming out the timeout, the Bears only scored five more points before giving up 11 points. The Jayhawks took the second set and Baylor headed into the locker room with a 2-0 deficit in Lawrence.
The Bears came out of the locker room and fought back, tying the game at 10-10, 14-14, and 17-17 in the third set. The Jayhawks used two kills by outside hitter Chelsea Albers to take the lead for the rest of the set and forced another Baylor timeout. Hill contributed three kills in the final stretch to erase a match point for Kansas, but the team couldn’t rally with their .209 hitting effort and dropped the set 25-23.
The loss was only the second time a Big 12 team swept Baylor this season, the only other team being No. 5 Texas (17-1, 9-1 Big 12) last month.
The Bears will look for a rebound win as they play host to No. 25 Oklahoma on Saturday at the Ferrell Center. Game time is set for 7 p.m.