Volleyball loses nail-biter in Fort Worth

Senior outside hitter Andie Malloy (right) digs a ball during a volleyball match between Baylor and Texas Tech on Sept. 30. The Bears won 3-0. In seven conference games this season, the Bears have won against two opponents (Texas Tech and TCU). Photo credit: Sarah Pyo

Baylor volleyball dropped a five-set road match against the TCU Horned Frogs Wednesday night (25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 21-25, 10-15).

After a dominating three-set sweep of West Virginia in their last game, the Bears were unable to carry that momentum to pick up a second conference win away from home.

Outside hitters, senior Andie Malloy and sophomore Katie Staiger, came out firing on all cylinders to give the Bears an 8-3 lead in the opening set.

Baylor showcased a remarkable amount of accuracy early as it took the lead 17-12, behind an early .524 attacking percentage.

TCU called a timeout, hoping to throw off the Bears’ rhythm, but Baylor continued with the offensive assault to take the first set 25-18.

Malloy led the Bears in kills with eight in the set on a .312 hitting effort. Staiger was right behind in the category with seven kills on a near-perfect .778 attacking percentage in the opening set.

That would be as accurate as Baylor would get for the rest of the night.

The second set proved to be a little bit of a letdown for the Bears, who showed clear signs of lacking focus. TCU opened up a 5-0 lead, due to several Baylor miscues.

Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre had seen enough of the inconsistency after the Horned Frogs opened up a 14-8 lead, and called a timeout.

The break seemed to allow the Bears to refocus, as they were able to trim the deficit to 19-21. However, TCU would call a timeout to regroup and go on to take the set 25-20.

After a stellar opening set from both Malloy and Staiger, the two failed to show the consistency that had been present in the first.

The third was the closest as neither team was able to gain an edge. Each team traded points throughout, as the scoring went back and forth.

Late in the set, Baylor was able to break the tie and take a 23-19 lead. TCU called a timeout, hoping to come back, but the Bears took care of business to go up 2-1 in the match.

Again, Baylor struggled with sluggish play after winning a set. TCU jumped out to an early 9-5 lead in the fourth, which warranted a McGuyre timeout.

Unlike in set two, the timeout did nothing to spark a Baylor run and TCU was able to hold onto its early advantage to force a fifth frame.

Both teams traded off the first 14 points in the shortened set. It appeared as though neither team would be able to run away with the match.

The Horned Frogs took advantage of Baylor service errors and timely kills to go on an 8-3 run and take a match victory.

The loss drops Baylor’s record to 14-7 (2-5 Big 12) on the season. After a strong showing in the first set, the Bears struggled to hit the mark on the offensive end.

Baylor ended the match with a .342 attacking effort, while TCU finished with a .340 hitting effort.

Malloy and Staiger led the Bears in kills with 21 and 20, respectively.

Baylor (14-7, 2-5 Big 12) will look to rebound in conference play in its next match against Iowa State (12-6, 5-2 Big 12) on Sunday at the Ferrell Center at 2 p.m.