Baylor volleyball stayed hot as they defeated North Texas on the road in four sets (25-19, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22). With the win, head coach Ryan McGuyre’s side improves to 11-2 on the season.
The Lady Bears were able to capitalize on solid defense and timely errors to come away with the victory.
Sophomore libero Jana Brusek led the team in digs with 11, while junior middle hitter Tola Itiola had a team-high nine blocks.
On offense, Baylor was helped out by their veteran leadership. Senior outside hitter Andie Malloy led the team with 17 kills behind a .355 attacking percentage. Setter Amy Rosenbaum, a senior, had 30 assists in the match, which was a team-high.
The Lady Bears struggled to pull away early in the first set, as neither team was able to achieve a large lead. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Staiger broke the set wide open with two late kills, giving Baylor a 25-19 first set victory.
Staiger chipped in six kills to lead the Lady Bears in the opening set.
The second set provided much of the same story as both teams failed to open up a lead larger than three points. Baylor began the second set strong and jumped out to an 11-8 lead. However, UNT clawed back into the game to tie it at 22-22.
McGuyre’s side was able to take advantage of points when it mattered, as they scored three of the next four wins to claim the first two sets.
Baylor started the third set with sloppy play and the Eagles took full advantage in route to a 7-3 lead (the largest lead of the night). Six of the first seven UNT points were due to Baylor errors.
The lack of focus proved pivotal and allowed the Mean Green to get back into the match with a third set victory.
It appeared that we would see much of the same in the fourth set, when the Lady Bears fell down 6-8. However, a regrouping by McGuyre spurred Baylor to a 5-0 run to regain the lead and momentum.
Freshman middle hitter Shelly Fanning provided a spark for the Baylor offense in the fourth set. She finished the match with an impressive .429 attacking percentage and eight kills.
The fourth set remained close, just as most of the match had been. Both teams went back and forth trading points until they were tied at 22-22.
Yet again, the Lady Bears performed in crunch time, as Andie Malloy came up with a crucial kill to break the tie and Itiola had two huge blocks to give Baylor the match victory and its eleventh win of the season.
Next up for Baylor volleyball is the start of conference play, where the team will travel to Kansas State. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start this Saturday.