Volleyball falls to Red Raiders in Big 12 opener

Story by Francesca Maietta | Reporter, Video by Savannah Cooper | Broadcast Reporter

Baylor volleyball lost 3-1 to Texas Tech in their Big 12 Conference opener Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center.

The Bears took an early lead in the first set, thanks to a kill from junior middle blocker Shelly Fanning putting the score at 4-2 in favor of the Bears. A solo block by senior outside hitter Aniah Philo kept Baylor ahead with a score of 11-7, which called for a Tech timeout.

Back-to-back kills from sophomore outside hitter Yossiana Pressley extended the Bears’ lead 16-9. Another kill for Pressley had the Bears leading by 10 points in the first set, 22-10. Philo closed out the first set with her first kill of the match, leading Baylor to take the first set with a final score of 25-13.

The Bears trailed at the beginning of the second set, putting the score at 6-2 in favor of the Red Raiders. A dig by sophomore setter Hannah Lockin set up a kill for Philo, bringing the score to 10-6 with Texas Tech in the lead. The Red Raiders went on a three-point run, which forced a Baylor timeout. A service error gave the Bears a point back, but they were still chasing in the second set 18-8. The Red Raiders remained in the lead, as the Bears were unable to mount a late rally. Texas Tech took the second set with a final score of 25-11.

Philo notched her fifth kill of the match to give the Bears a two-point lead in the third set with a score of 5-3. A kill by Pressley gave the bears a 4-0 run, putting the score at 11-7 where the Bears remained on top. A 3-0 run for the Red Raiders earned them a slight lead, which called for another Baylor timeout at 17-14 in favor of Texas Tech. Junior middle blocker Nicole Thomas stayed perfect with her third kill, but Baylor still trailed late in the third set. The Bears couldn’t overcome the Red Raiders’ lead and fell 25-21 in set three.

Baylor and Texas Tech traded blows as a fourth set opened, leading to a 3-3 tie. Philo came up with a kill, but the Bears trailed yet again in the fourth set putting the score at 10-8 with Tech on top. The Red Raiders went on a 3-0 run and a five-point lead with a score of 13-8, calling for a Baylor timeout.

Kills by Pressley, Fanning and senior opposite Ashley Fritcher brought the score up 19-17 with Texas Tech in the lead. A kill by Pressley snapped a 5-0 Red Raiders run, but the Bears were still facing match point. Tech took the fourth set 25-18 and defeated the Bears.

Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre said the team needs to get better in all areas moving forward.

“Unfortunately, our highs are high and our lows are low right now,” McGuyre said. “To be a good team we have to be consistent and know how to fight and battle through those things a little bit more and a little bit tougher. You got to pick yourselves up and we got to do that as fast as we can.”

Fanning said mindset was where the Bears went wrong.

“The second set, they started strong,” Fanning said. “They were ready to come back and battle and I don’t think that we necessarily had that same mentality. I think we let them get ahead and let them execute and we kind of exposed our weaknesses.”

The Bears look to bounce back as they face the Texas at 7 p.m. September 26 in Austin.