WACO, Texas - The Baylor Bears ended their non-conference season on a high note defeating UTSA (8-6) Tuesday night at the Ferrell Center, 25-17, 26-24, 24-26, 25-20. The Bears also evened their record to 8-8 and have won six of their last eight matches headed into the Big 12 opener Saturday at Iowa State.
It was not the prettiest of matches with both teams setting season highs in total attack attempts, but neither squad hit above .200. The Bears hit .170 on 194 attempts, and Nicole Bardaji led the team, continuing her hot streak, with 16 kills and a team-high five blocks. Zoe Adom recorded 14 kills, Laura Jones had 12 and Adrien Richburg added 10, including six in the final set. Amy Rosenbaum recorded her first double-double with career highs in assists with 50 and digs with 19 for Baylor.
The Roadrunners hit just .145 on 172 attempts in the loss. The nation's leader in kills per set, Mackenzie Adams, had 17 kills, which was below her average of 5.50. Adams added 25 digs for a double-double, Dajana Boskovic had a dozen kills and Annie Kunes posted a season-high 32 digs.
Both teams set season-highs in digs with UTSA taking the advantage 96-81, and the Roadrunners out-blocked Baylor 13.5-8.0.
Bardaji, whose previous career high in kills was nine, has strung together three-straight matches with at least a dozen dating back to her new career high of 17 set Saturday against North Texas. Bardaji has 63 kills for Baylor in the last five matches averaging an even three kills per set.
- Baylor set season-highs in attempts (194) and digs (81) in the scrappy win over UTSA.
- Amy Rosenbaum had her first career double-double with career highs in assists (50) and digs (19)
- Mackenzie Mayo finished with 10 digs, extending her streak of double-digit digs matches to five
- Laura Jones' eighth kill of the match gave the sophomore her 300th career kill; she finished the match with a dozen for her seventh match of the season with double-digit kills
- Baylor's win streak over UTSA extended to 11 matches, and the Roadrunners have not defeated the Bears since Sept. 17, 1990
- The win puts Baylor at .500 entering Big 12 conference play, a streak that extends to 18 seasons. The last time the Bears went into conference play with a losing record was 1995 when the Bears played host to Texas A&M for the conference opener with a 1-10 record.
STAT OF THE GAME I
.306 - The Bears hitting percentage in the fourth set to close the match after not hitting higher than .170 in the first three.
STAT OF THE GAME II
4 & 4 - Four Bears with double-digit kills, and four Bears with double-digit digs. That marked the first time this season that Baylor had four players reach double digits in either category.
Baylor head coach Jim Barnes on Baylor's win over UTSA.
"I think we are getting better. We needed a team win, and in order to get that we had to have different people step up and play hard. We beat a good team tonight. UTSA is going to win a lot of games this year, and I'm proud of our effort and how hard we played."
The Bears begin Big 12 Conference play in Ames, Iowa at Iowa State Saturday at 4 p.m. The No. 25-ranked Cyclones are 6-4 on the season, and ISU has won 13 of its last 14 matchups with Baylor. The last time the Bears defeated ISU on the road came Oct. 29, 2005.