By Harper Mayfield | Sports Writer
Baylor volleyball suffered their fifth loss of the season on Friday, dropping a 3-1 match to Texas. Even in the loss, sophomore outside hitter Lauren Harrison was able to find positives.
“I thought the hitters did a good job of being aggressive,” Harrison said. “Especially in not-so-perfect sets, and that’s something we’ve been working on in practice. So, if we keep that up it’ll help us a lot moving forward into the tournament.”
Harrison was one of Baylor’s statistical standouts against Texas, posting a team-high .367 hitting percentage. Harrison also had 15 kills on the night, good for second on the team. Senior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley led the team in the kill department, pouring in a monster 28 kills. At the net, middle blockers Kara McGhee and Preslie Anderson each had four blocks, keeping the strong Texas block honest. Senior setter Hannah Sedwick was the team’s leading passer, handing out 46 assists on the night.
Baylor’s last few games have been knock-down, drag-out contests. Head coach Ryan McGuyre feels that, despite the tough nature of the games, the team can benefit from adversity.
“Those type of matches are good, because those are the matches you have to win if you want to move on in the tournament,” McGuyre said. “You like to have the 3-0 sweeps, you like to keep winning quick and easy, but in the tournament you’re going to have two or three of those matches most likely.”
The first set was a decisive victory for the Longhorns, and it was won at the net. Texas had six blocks in the first, while Baylor was unable to make anything happen on the front line. Baylor also struggled with their serves, committing four service errors in the first set alone. Errors were a struggle for Baylor all night, especially for Pressley.
“I had a lot of errors, let’s not sugarcoat that,” Pressley said. “[Texas] is a big block, so we have to find ways to get around those big blocks.”
Baylor still kept the first set relatively close, but Texas was too much to open the game. The Horns took the first one, 25-18.
The second set was hotly contested, and Baylor was able to come out on top. The Bears jumped out to an early 11-6 lead, but UT hung tough. Late in the set, Texas went on a 4-0 tear to knot things up at 23-23. Baylor and the Longhorns would trade points for the rest of the set, before the Bears were finally able to secure the set after a number of extra serves, evening the match with a 31-29 win.
The third set was another back-and-forth state of affairs. Neither team was able to build any sort of lead, and Baylor was in it until the bitter end. Again, the set went to 30 points to decide a winner, but this time it was Texas. Baylor’s .025 hitting percentage wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Horns in the third, and UT took the set 30-28.
The fourth set was another strong one for Texas, as Baylor began to show some signs of fatigue. The Bears once again lost the error battle in the fourth, this time 3-7. In a battle of two powerhouse teams, Texas took the final set and the match, 25-19 and 3 sets to one.
Baylor will be back on the court to take on in-conference rival Kansas State at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Ferrell Center. The match will not be televised.