Baylor volleyball edges Sooners in five

Junior outside hitter Katie Staiger is all smiles in route to beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 3-1 on Aug. 27 at the Ferrell Center. Photo Credit: Tim Hong | Lariat Photographer

Baylor volleyball concluded its road schedule with a thrilling, come from behind 25-21, 12-25, 21-25, 32-30, 15-11 win over Oklahoma at McCasland Field House in Norman, OK on Saturday night.

With the win over the Sooners, Baylor sweeps the season series for the first time since 2001.

“Good to have great performances, now in back-to-back matches, from Camryn [Freiberg], both with her attack and her blocking,” said head coach Ryan McGuyre. “Our blocking and hitting paid off down the stretch.”

Baylor came out swinging in the first set as they went toe to toe with the Sooners. However, a strong push at the end, helped the Bears close out the first set with a 25-21 win.

The second and third sets belonged to the Sooners. Oklahoma came out aggressive, building a 15-6 lead in the second. They continued to attack the Baylor front line, increasing its lead and tying the match at a set apiece with a 25-12 win. The third set was closer, but after another late push by the Sooners, Baylor found itself one set away from two consecutive road defeats.

The fourth set was back and forth and Baylor was able to put together several late runs in the set to tie it at 23 apiece. The Bears then fought off three match points and ended the set on a 3-0 run following kills by redshirt junior outside hitter Katie Staiger and senior setter Morgan Reed. Junior middle hitter Camryn Freiberg also had a block in the run to extend the match for Baylor and force a fifth set.

In the fifth set, Baylor grabbed the early lead, sustained the lead and finished off the Sooners, 15-11 in the third.

The Bears were led by Staiger, who finished with 20 kills and 13 digs. Freiberg and sophomore outside hitter Aniah Philo added 14 and 13 kills respectively.

“I think this was the first match this year that we’ve won where Katie struggled. I’ve been waiting to see what that might look like. We showed good resiliency to finish off the fourth,” McGuyre said. “With back-to-back five-setters, we needed to execute better and improve our attack in the fifth. We did that and were able to keep the pressure on them.”

Baylor improves to 21-9 overall, 9-5 in conference play. The Bears remain in third place in the Big 12, and one game ahead of Iowa State, who Baylor will entertain on Wednesday at the Ferrell Center.

Baylor defeated Iowa State in its first meeting in five sets on Oct. 19. The match is set to begin 6 p.m.