MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team dropped its Saturday afternoon match to Baylor 3-0 (23-25, 12-25, 16-25) at the WVU Coliseum.
Despite a match-high seven team blocks, the Mountaineers (8-19, 0-13 Big 12) could not overcome the Bears’ (18-10, 5-8 Big 12) balanced offensive attack.
“I was really proud of the way we played in the first set,” coach Jill Kramer says. “We had one of the most intricate match plans against them that we have had all year and it is something that we have tried to work up to because we have kept the focus on us so much more. I was really proud of the way we executed that in the first set. That is a challenge to do mentally for a full match and especially when we are trying to manage our own game. That is the difference between the first set and the rest of the match. We actually managed our attack pretty well and also defended the other team. We have to be able to do that for a longer period of time. We played a good Baylor team today.”
The first set was tightly contested as the teams traded points until a kill from Thea Munch-Soegaard and service ace put Baylor up 10-7 and forced WVU to use its first timeout. The Bears continued to stretch out their lead until three straight kills from junior middle blocker Arielle Allen
tied the set at 16 and made Baylor call a timeout. The teams would tie the set five more time until two straight kills from the Bears gave them the advantage to take the first set 25-23.
Strong serving runs by Baylor in the second set made WVU use both of its timeouts early after trailing 14-6. The Bears’ offense was too much for the Mountaineers as Baylor recorded 15 kills and a.419 hitting percentage to win the set.
After the break, the teams battled in the third set with neither team having more than a two-point advantage. Tied at 14, the Bears capitalized on WVU errors and three kills from Zoe Adom to take a 20-14 lead. The Mountaineers responded with a block from Allen and freshman outside hitter Nikki Attea
, but a balanced attack sealed the win for Baylor.
Freshman middle blocker Caleah Wells
and junior outside hitter Elzbieta Klein
led the team with seven kills apiece. Wells also had zero errors for the day for a .412 hitting percentage, while also chipping in two blocks.
Freshman libero Anna Panagiotakopoulos
finished with 14 digs for her 13th double-digit dig match of the season, while freshman outside hitter Hannah Sackett
recorded 11 digs for her first double-digit dig match this season.
The Mountaineers travel to Austin, Texas to take on the No. 3 Texas Longhorns on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m., at the Gregory Gymnasium.