Sept. 16, 2009
- No. 24 Baylor dropped its first match of the season, getting swept (21-25, 22-25, 15-25) at the hands of the second-ranked University of Texas on Wednesday night at the Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas.
The loss halted Baylor's season-opening winning streak at 11 matches, after the Bears had set the mark for the best start in school history. Texas won the crucial points in the first and second sets, then loosened up and won the third set handily.
"We feel like this was an opportunity to play against a very good team and beat a very good team in Texas," head coach Jim Barnes said. "We didn't take advantage of it. We have a team that I feel can compete with this team, but we didn't show it tonight."
Elizabeth Graham, who transferred to Baylor from UT this season, had a great night with six kills on 10 swings with no errors. She also racked up four blocks in her first match back in Austin, Texas, since transferring after last fall. Ashlie Christenson led the way with eight kills for the Bears who had a season-low .125 hitting percentage (34-21-104). The Bears had not hit under .200 in any match previously this season.
"We're a very confident group," Christenson said. "We believe that we're a strong team, and everybody influences each other. We really try to stay on top of each other to compete. I feel like today we were just a little hesitant. I feel like we fought a lot. We've just got to learn how to pull it together for the whole game."
Texas totaled seven blocks in the match, leaving the Bears with 14 unforced hitting errors. On offense, Destinee Hooker paced the Longhorn attack with a match-high 15 kills. UT's Heather Kisner tied BU's Allison King with a match-high 11 digs.
The Bears frustrated Longhorn outside hitter Juliann Faucette, who had seven attack errors, but Texas was able to go to Hooker, She'Dare McNeal and Bailey Webster. The trio combined for 25 kills and just three hitting errors in the match.
In the first set, Baylor found themselves down 9-5 and then 13-9, but clawed their way out of the hole to keep Texas from widening the gap. Taylor Barnes had two service aces to help Baylor close to 10-9, but Baylor gave the four-point lead back before forcing Texas into back-to-back errors to make the score 14-12. Baylor's offense got on track after that getting kills from Anna Breyfogle, Katie Sanders and Christenson to get as close as 23-20, but Texas setter Ashley Engle put down a kill, then found Faucette on the outside for the set-clincher.
The second set was nearly a mirror image of the first with Baylor closing to 13-12 on a Faucette attack error. Texas rolled out a 6-1 run before Baylor could respond. Torri Campbell and Breyfogle responded with kills forcing a UT timeout, then Christenson put two balls off the floor to close the gap to one at 23-22. After a long rally where the Bears had good opportunities to score, Faucette tipped a kill just out of BU's reach and took the point, setting up a set-ending block by Rachael Adams and Bailey Webster.
Baylor came out flat in the third set, allowing a 6-2 run to open with two reception errors, a service error, and two attack errors. Texas controlled the set from that point with Baylor only closing to four one more time, on a kill from Campbell at 14-10. From that point, Webster did most of her damage with all three of her third-set kills.
The 24th-ranked Bears (11-1, 0-1 Big 12) will continue conference play this weekend with a 1 p.m. start time on Saturday, Sept. 19, against Kansas State University.