Story by Francesca Maietta | Reporter, Video by Savannah Cooper | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor volleyball took their third-straight win over Texas Christian University Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center 3-1.
Junior redshirt middle blocker Shelly Fanning put the Bears in the lead with four kills and four attacks in the first set. TCU kept their blocking strong and took over the lead with a score of 17-12. Consecutive kills by TCU forced Baylor to take their first time-out with a score of 20-15 with TCU in the lead. The Bears received a green card and TCU got the point, but then when Baylor challenged it, TCU’s point was taken back. Back-to-back points for TCU called for Baylor’s second timeout at 24-18 with TCU on top. The Horned Frogs kept their blocking strong and the Bears dropped the first set with a final score of 25-18.
The Bears were off to a strong start in the second set when sophomore setter Hannah Lockin assisted Fanning with a kill that put them in the lead. An attack error by TCU put the Bears on a 3-0 scoring run. Redshirt junior middle blocker Jaelyn Jackson recorded her first kill tying up the set at 8-8. Lockin got her first kill and gave the Bears the lead forcing TCU to take a timeout at 11-8. Junior defensive specialist Tara Wulf hit Baylor’s first service ace of the game giving the Bears a four-point lead. TCU went on a 3-0 scoring run but still fell behind the Bears. Baylor maintained their lead and Jackson made the game point with a kill. The Bears took the second set with a final score of 25-19.
Baylor took the lead in the third set and Fanning hit the second service ace of the day putting the score at 8-3 with the Bears on top. Freshman outside hitter Bri Coleman hit her ninth kill of the game and the Bears went on a 6-1 scoring followed by a TCU attack error. A huge block by Jackson and freshman opposite hitter Marieke van der Mark set up Baylor’s 3-0 run. Fanning’s 13th kill of the night kept the Bears in the lead 18-10. Baylor took the set after junior outside hitter Gia Milana recorded her sixth kill with a final score of 25-15.
Wulf recorded her second service ace of the game in the fourth set. The Bears went on a 7-0 scoring run after Milana’s kill. Sophomore defensive specialist Braya Hunt got injured, forcing her to sit out the remainder of the game. Senior opposite Ashley Fritcher’s kill forced a TCU timeout. TCU scored back-to-back points but Baylor maintained the lead with a score of 19-12. A surprise attack from Lockin sealed the deal in the fourth set with a final score of 25-17 winning the Bears the match 3-1.
Coleman said the turning point came after they let up on the tension.
“I think we definitely brought the joy in the second set,” Coleman said. “We realized that we just needed to have fun and play free and that’s what we did & it came back.”
Fanning said she thinks her role as a leader on the team is to get the girls motivated.
“I think it’s just fun playing with a group of girls like the team I’m on,” Fanning said. “We love to have fun and we love to goof off. I think I just really keep everyone focused and on track for what’s coming next so we can be most ready.”
Head Coach Ryan McGuyre said the game was a huge test of their depth chart.
“We knew [Yossiana Pressley] was out but we weren’t expecting it to happen to Aniah [Philo],” McGuyre said. “So that just happened recently. “Were at a Wednesday game and really had the end of practice on Tuesday to kind of figure out what we were doing. Really a testament to the girls. So proud of Bri Coleman coming in. Really it’s been the depth of those who maybe don’t see the court that much who are executing that most consistently. I’m glad we figured out a way to win this match for sure. It was all hands on deck.”
The Bears are set to take on West Virginia at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, in Morgantown, W.Va.