By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer
No. 15 Baylor volleyball moves to 22-5 (11-3 Big 12) after defeating Iowa State University in four sets Wednesday evening in the Ferrell Center. The Bears went 25-20, 25-20, 19-25 and 26-24 on the night.
“The grit of this team is fun,” head coach Ryan Mcguyre said. “Gritty fight, glad we could get a win at home. No rest for the weary, we have another match coming up here quick.”
Senior outside hitter Lauren Harrison finished with 14 kills and eight digs. Senior middle blocker Kara McGhee pitched in 11 spikes of her own to go along with seven blocks, including her 500th career block at Baylor. This puts her sixth in program history, third all-time in the rally era. Freshman setter Averi Carlson dished out 41 assists and dug eight balls in the match.
“It’s special playing with this team always, so it’s more special being able to have that with this team for sure. I didn’t know it came next to Elise so that’s special,” McGhee said on reaching 500.
The Bears were able to start the match by jumping out to a quick 4-1 lead, but a quick 4-0 run from the Cyclones (18-10, 9-5 Big 12) brought them back and the contest was tied at 5-5 early. Both squads were having to fight for every point earned, but Baylor was able to build a small 10-7 lead as play continued. The green and gold was able to hold onto its lead with help from three early blocks from McGhee, leading 15-12 at the media timeout. Despite it being tight all the way, the Bears were able to maintain control the majority of the set and won 25-20.
In the second set, Baylor picked up where it left off in the first jumping out to a 7-3 lead to force a Cyclone timeout. ISU answered back with a 7-1 run to take its first lead of the set at 10-8. This got three Baylor coaches essentially on the court shouting instruction to their squad, leading to a 5-0 run from the Bears to retake control at 13-10. Building on this momentum, Baylor took a 20-15 advantage. Holding off the Cyclones, the Bears took the second set 25-20.
Determined to avoid being swept, the Cyclones came into the third set on fire, taking a 9-4 lead forcing an early Baylor timeout. Iowa State continued to play dominant and around halfway through the third set, it led 14-7. Despite going down 18-9, the Bears kept clawing and were able to cut their deficit to four at 22-18. However, it proved too little too late as the Cyclones claimed the third set 25-19.
In the similar fashion, the fourth set began as a back-and-forth between the two teams, neither wanting their opponent to gain any traction. That was until the Cyclones went on a small run to take a 7-4 lead. At the media timeout, ISU led 15-13. Fighting for every point, the Bears were able to climb ahead 20-19 late in the fourth set. Baylor was able to complete the victory with a 26-25 set win.
The Bears now travel to Austin to compete against No. 1 University of Texas for their second and final meeting of the regular season.