Baylor volleyball’s Big 12 season is slowly slipping away after Iowa State defeated the Bears in straight sets Sunday at the Ferrell Center (19-25, 21-25, 22-25).
The Bears, who were trying to rebound at home after a five-set loss on the road to TCU last Wednesday, fell short when the Cyclones came out attacking.
“We have had time to recover from it,” said sophomore outside hitter Katie Staiger. “We honestly played all out defense in our last match against TCU. We would have loved to pull that one out, but we can’t let games string together. Each game is a new match.”
Going into the first set, the Bears (14-8, 2-6) took a quick 4-3 lead, but were unable to keep that momentum going.
The Cyclones (13-6, 6-2 Big 12) came back strong, totaling nine kills and four errors. The Cyclones took the first set, 25-19.
“We have to keep the ball in the court, while still being aggressive,” Staiger said. “Part of that was we stopped being so aggressive and we were still missing the court. It’s important to keep it in.”
With the fans behind them, the Bears came out motivated in the second set. Kills from Staiger and junior middle hitter Tola Itiola helped put them out ahead 16-12.
The Cyclones recovered from the Bears’ head-start, though. After calling a timeout mid-way through the second set, the Cyclones outpaced the Bears to win the set.
Coming back from the break, the Bears tried to get things going their way, but in the end were unsuccessful. They fell behind early, giving the Cyclones an eight-point lead which allowed them to take the set and match 25-22.
“We had some good moments, but we weren’t able to string long runs of points together,” Stagier said. “There were moments of it, but not enough.”
Overall, the Bears struggled offensively, hitting .119 with 39 kills in 126 attempts. They hit a match low of .000 in the first and were never able to get their momentum going.
“We weren’t in rhythm, very, very disappointing as far as our execution,” said head coach Ryan McGuyre. “We’ve been battling hard all year in a lot of matches, but Andie was struggling a little bit, as she wasn’t quite dialed-in. It wasn’t horribly bad, but it was loose enough out there to where we were giving up 2 points every game that we don’t usually give up, and at the end of the match that hurt us.”
The Bears next test will be on the road in Lawrence, Kan. where they take on No. 7 Kansas at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center in Lawrence, Kan.