VB takes third loss to UT this season

Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Harrison helped drive the Baylor offense during the third and fourth sets of the Bears' loss to Texas Wednesday in Austin. Photo courtesy of Baylor athletics

By Matthew Soderberg | Editor-in-Chief

Baylor volleyball lost its third match at Texas this season 3-1 (22-25, 17-25, 25-17, 20-25) Wednesday night. Three of Baylor’s four losses dating back to September have come at the hands of the Longhorns.

Texas’ Logan Eggleston dominated over the course of the match with 23 kills and only three attacking errors on 48 attempts. Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre said she was just able to keep the errors low in a cumbersome environment.

“She just played clean,” McGuyre said. “They found her and used her at the right times, so she was low error on the out-of-system stuff. We had some good digs and touches, but we didn’t turn those back into points. Then when the opportunity was there, she was able to.”

The first set stayed close throughout, with Baylor completing a 4-0 run and two 3-0 runs, while Texas polished off two 4-0 runs of their own. The Bears hung in to tie the set at 20, but the home team notched five of the next seven points to move on.

The second set started off well with Baylor shooting off a 3-0 run to take a 4-2 lead, and it would it until the Longhorns popped up with a 7-1 run to take the score from 9-8 to 10-15. The Bears took a timeout to reset themselves, and it helped until another run from Texas pushed the total from 16-19 to 16-23, capitalized by three straight service aces by Eggleston. The burnt orange squad cleaned up the set three points later.

The Bears came out swinging in the third with a 3-0 run out of the gate. After Baylor hit double digits, the lead wouldn’t again drop below three points. Ten of the 16 kills by Baylor sophomore outside hitter Lauren Harrison were earned in either the third or fourth set. McGuyre said her digging deep in practice is what accounts for her effort in the match.

“I think she’s just been training well. It’s been an area of focus,” McGuyre said. “We want her to go beast mode a little bit more often and not playing as safe for her game and her game individually as the hitter, so I think she’s just more comfortable doing that and shaking off errors and moving on to the next play.”

Baylor started out with another 4-0 lead to begin the fourth, and it stretched that lead out to 11-8 before Texas began to close in. The opposition slowly chipped away, gnawing at the lead until they were able to pounce with a 3-0 run of its own to launch the score to 15-18. The total crept up to 20-22 before the Longhorns finished off the Bears for the third time this extended season. McGuyre said despite dropping to 15-4, Baylor can still greatly improve as they head home.

“There are lots and lots of takeaways,” McGuyre said. “From our middle transition, to a little bit of the scheming to some trust factors … we can battle test in some of our matches going forward.”

The Bears will take their next stand at 5 p.m. Saturday against Oklahoma in the Ferrell Center. The match will be streamed on Big 12 Now via ESPN+.