By Jackson Posey | Sports Writer
No. 23 Baylor volleyball fell to No. 17 Kansas in straight sets Wednesday — 25-16, 27-25, 25-21 — at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena in Lawrence, Kan.
The loss drops the team to 14-12 (8-8 in conference play) ahead of its final conference home stand against West Virginia and Houston. The Bears have now lost three straight, including a reverse sweep against rival TCU at home, and are 0-6 against currently-ranked opponents.
The first set was never close. Baylor never led after 2-1 and never brought it within four after 12-8. Kansas scored 10 of its points on errors to Baylor three. The Bears failed to get a kill after 18-13, and the Jayhawks cruised 25-16.
In the second set, the Bears found the gas pedal, taking an early 4-1 lead behind kills from sophomore opposite hitter Allie Sczech, junior outside hitter Elise McGhee and junior middle blocker Manuela Bibinbe, who would combine for over 76% of the team’s kills on the night. Baylor took a 22-18 lead following a kill by freshman outside hitter Kendal Murphy and a service ace by McGhee.
With a 23-19 deficit on a service error, Kansas was backed into a hole. But graduate student Reagan Cooper hit her stride. Cooper, who had already recorded six kills in the set, scored three straight to make it a one-point game. Two plays later, she’d get her 10th, tying the game at 24-all.
With her contribution, the Jayhawks closed it out. They scored eight of the final 10 points, including a Baylor service error and a kill to close it out. It made it a 2-0 Kansas lead.
The Bears took an early 8-5 lead in the third set, but they were again decimated by errors — nine in all. Kansas won the overall error battle 29-16. The Jayhawks scored six straight to take a 23-19 lead, and four plays later, Cooper notched her 17th kill to end the match.
With the loss, the Bears have now lost six consecutive sets heading into their final week of games. The team’s final two matches are both at home. Baylor is set to host West Virginia on Saturday and to close out the season on Wednesday against No. 21 Houston.