Volleyball drops conference opener, streak ends

The Women's Volleyball team played against University of North Carolina at Greensboro at the Ferrell Center on September 19, 2015. Photo credit: Sarah Pyo

Baylor volleyball had their five-game winning streak come to an end over the weekend, after losing a three-set match to Kansas State (20-25, 10-25, 23-25) at the Ahearn Field House. The result gave the Lady Bears’ an opening loss to Big 12 play.

Head coach Ryan McGuyre’s squad was unable to match the offensive output from Kansas State.

The Wildcats took the lead early in the opening set and didn’t let up. Baylor fought back to make the set competitive, but it wasn’t enough.

Kansas State was able to ride that momentum to a dominant second set victory. The Wildcats posted a remarkable .481 attacking percentage, as the Lady Bears were only able to muster a .091 offensive output. The discrepancy in hitting percentage resulted in Baylor’s largest defeat in any set this season.

Baylor tried to force a fourth set and get back into the match, but were beaten in the third set 25-23. The sweep is only the second time this season that the Lady Bears have been between in straight sets.

The Wildcats proved too much to handle Saturday night and were dominant from start to finish. KSU took early leads in all three sets thanks to a balanced attack and strong defense.

Baylor was held to a .287 attacking percentage, while allowing Kansas State to post a noteworthy .388 attacking percentage in the match.

Last week’s Big 12 Rookie of the Week, freshman Shelly Fanning, led the Lady Bears in kills with 13, while posting a .545 hitting effort. Her 14 points tied the match-high for points scored. Fanning’s twelfth kill of the night marked her 150 career kill this year.

Despite Fanning’s impressive night, the team struggled to find consistency from usually productive players.

Sophomore outside hitter Katie Staiger had 5 kills on 19 attacks (.053 attacking percentage).

The Lady Bears also struggled to get production from their veteran leaders, as senior outside hitter Andie Malloy couldn’t find the mark, ending the match with a .167 hitting percentage. Senior setter Amy Rosenbaum was unable to make the impact she did in Baylor’s last game against UNT (30 assists in the game). Rosenbaum ended the match against the Wildcats with 13 assists.

After an inspiring non-conference showing, the Lady Bears weren’t able to ride the momentum to a win on Saturday night. The loss dropped Baylor to 11-3 on the season (0-1 in the Big 12) and Kansas State moved to 9-5 (1-1 in the Big 12) with the win.

Baylor’s next game will be its Big 12 home opener against Texas Tech. The Lady Bears are a perfect 6-0 this season at the Ferrell Center. That game is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.