Baylor volleyball lost its first home match of the season against its in-state rivals the No. 2 Texas Longhorns in three sets (16-25, 19-25, 19-25).
Excitement filled the Ferrell Center. The match was broadcast nationally on ESPNU and both teams had good fan attendance in the arena.
Adding onto the energetic spirit at the Ferrell Center on Wednesday, the game honored Breast Cancer Awareness Month with pink attire worn by the players.
The Bears sought to bounce back after losing on the road to Oklahoma last Saturday. Ahead of Wednesday’s match, Texas was sure to be one of the toughest opponents the Bears would play at home this season, if not the toughest.
The Longhorns got off to an early start in the first set, taking a commanding lead from which the Bears were not able to recover
“Texas is a great team, so we had to do everything right to consistently put the ball down in the floor,” said head coach Ryan McGuyre. “I thought we did it right a lot of times, but a match against a strong team, our hiccups tonight cost us points every time.”
With the home crowd behind them, the Bears fought back to try and get momentum in the second set, but the longhorns defense was too much for the Bears to overcome.
Although the Bears saved four consecutive set points in the second, it was too little too late. The Longhorns held off the Bears’ late push to take the second set.
“They did really greats things,” said freshman middle hitter Shelly Fanning. “I feel like we did things that we probably shouldn’t have; we beat ourselves most of the time.”
The third set looked like the Bears’ best chance of getting into the game after a service error by the Longhorns. At one point in the third set, the Bears tied the game 10-10.
The Bears’ optimistic start to the third set added up to nothing, though. The Bears never gained control. The Bears’ inabilty to close the gap crippled them in the third set, which ended by the same score of the second set (25-19).
The Bears never backed down, but the No. 2 ranked Longhorns were too strong and too disciplined for the Bears.
“A lot of them were good aggressive errors,” said senior setter Amy Rosenbaum. “We were really just going after it, but some were passive. If you’re going to be passive, get it in, but if you’re going for it, give it all and good things will come from it. High risk, high reward.”
Although they hit a high percentage in the third set, McGuyre said he still believed that they needed to be more aggressive and block better against the physical Longhorn team.
“We just didn’t execute our game plan as well as we would have hoped,” Rosenbaum said. “Texas is always a solid team. We didn’t rise to the standards that were being set as well as we could of, and that will be a challenge for us as we go deeper into conference. It’s sort of like a business deal. We need to show up, perform and then leave.”
The Bears are now 12-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play. Baylor returns to the court just two days after the loss to UT Wednesday.
The Bears look to regroup at 7 p.m. Friday at the Ferrell Center where they will take on Texas State in their final non-conference game.