By Meghan Mitchell, Reporter
After losing a nail-biter in Fort Worth earlier this season, the Bears missed their chance at revenge against TCU Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center.
The Bears (16-9, 4-7 Big 12) were coming off a two-match win streak, during which they swept Texas Tech and West Virginia, fell short against the Horned Frogs in three (25-18, 25-19, 25-23).
The Horned Frogs (16-7, 6-5 Big 12), who were coming off being swept at home looked to get back on track, but were going to have get past the attacking Baylor team.
With two early kills apiece from sophomore outside hitter Katie Staiger, senior outside hitter Andie Malloy and freshman middle hitter Shelly Fanning, the Bears took a quick 7-3 lead, forcing the Horned Frogs to call a timeout in the first set.
The Horned Frogs were not going down without a fight. They fought back to take a 15-14 lead and eventually were able to get past the Bears strong defensive wall to take the first set 25-18.
Going into the second set, the Bears tried to get things going back their way but went down early, 9-3.
Battling back, the Bears closed the gap to two points after a kill from freshman middle hitter Jordan Vail.
The Bears were unable to build on Vail’s kill to get the momentum going back their way, losing the second set 25-19.
Going into the third junior middle hitter Tola Itiola, helped the Bears get a little momemtum going with six kills on seven attempts.
“We didn’t get Tola the ball enough. Anytime we tried to get in a rhythm, we’d give up a quick point on a serve-receive,” said head coach Ryan McGuyre. “We just created that difference, and we’re playing from behind the entire time.”
However, the effort was unsuccessful. The Bears lost the third set 25-23.
“It was a good fight in the third set, but we have to be cleaner,” McGuyre said. “It just wasn’t as clean as our offense normally is.”
Although falling short, Itiola matched her career-high of 11 kills with a hitting average of .917, which is the third-best in Baylor history during the span of three sets.
McGuyre said he was impressed by Itiola’s performance against the Horned Frogs .
“Tola is a great player. It was just taking us too long to get her the ball.,” McGuyre said. “It was a night I was expecting from her all season, and we really need her down the stretch.”
The Bears host the Oklahoma Sooners at 2 p.m. Sunday for Senior Day.