Baylor volleyball struggled on the road in the Thunderdome Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif., where the Bears went 1-2.
“Anytime you lose, you are going to learn something, but I definitely think for me what I saw is just how much potential we do have. Those were good teams we lost to, but definitely teams we could have beaten,” said junior outside hitter Katie Staiger. “For me, it is just kind of knowing that those are teams we can beat, and it is a level we should be playing at.”
They first faced no. 25 Colorado State, a team they faced last season and a team that head coach Ryan McGuyre looked forward to playing to see where his team was at.
“They are big and physical,” McGuyre said. “They have a good system, and they dominated their previous three matches. It is definitely going to be a good match. We played them last year, so it is going to be a good test to see where we are this early in the season.”
However, for McGuyre and the Bears, the outcome was not what they hoped for, and they lost 3-1.
Trying to bounce back, the Bears started off strong against University of California, Santa Barbara, leading at one instance by six. However, the Bears were unable to keep the momentum going and eventually lost the first set 25-18.
In the second set, the Bears were unable to close out the set after not converting on two set points.
Although staying close to the Gauchos early in the third, the Bears would eventually lose the set and match 25-14.
Looking to redeem themselves in their third match against California State University, Bakersfield, the Bears were able to turn things around and dominate from the start to take a commanding lead and the first set, 25-13.
With the momentum now going their way, the Bears were able to stay focused, and although the Roadrunners stayed close through the next two sets, the Bears were able to close them out, 29-27, 26-24.
Although not coming home with a tournament title, Staiger said the ending of the weekend was good for her team.
“I think it left us with some good momentum going into this upcoming weekend,” Staiger said.
The Bears look to stay with the momentum as they go back on the road to Tallahassee, Fla., to take part in the Seminole Tournament.