TCU Halted by Baylor, 3-1
Nov. 12, 2014
WACO, Texas - The TCU volleyball team had its three-match conference winning streak halted, as Baylor took a 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-21, 25-23) victory on Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center.
Ashley Smith led the offensive effort for the Horned Frogs (15-12, 5-7 Big 12) with 15 kills and completed her team-leading ninth double-double with 11 digs against the Bears (14-13, 4-8 Big 12). Blaire Pickens struck down double-digit kills for the fourth time this season with 10 on the night.
TCU recorded double-digit blocks as a team for the eighth time in conference play and 11th time this season, as Natalie Gower led the effort with four and Mattie Burleson, Stephanie Holland and Regan McGuire each chipping in three blocks.
Alexia Heist guided the offensive effort and dished out 35 assists to go along with 10 digs for fifth double-double of the season. Sutton Sunstrum recorded a match-high 22 digs for her fifth 20 plus dig match of the season.
The match opened as a fight for points as the first set featured 12 ties and four lead changes. Baylor began the set by taking the first few points, but TCU responded with a kill from Smith and forced a Bears' error to tie up the set at 2-2. Baylor would take four of the next six points to regain the lead, but two straight errors from the Bears paired with an ace from Trisha Langley and a block from Gower and Pickens put the lead back in TCU's favor, 8-6.
The battle for points waged on with the teams continuing to trade points and TCU using a kill from Holland to take a 15-14 lead in the media timeout. Gower and Holland connected for a block out of the break, but Baylor was able to keep the set close and tied in up at 17-17 after an ace. The teams would go back-and-forth until a kill and then hitting error by the Frogs gave Baylor its final lead of the set that they would never let go as the Bears took the set 25-23.
Smith came out on fire to begin the second set, as the sophomore was responsible for a pair of kills along with a service ace to help the Frogs to a 3-1 lead. TCU continued to build on the lead, as Sunstrum notched an ace along with a kill from Pickens for a 6-3 advantage. Baylor was able to keep the set close until three straight kills from McGuire, Mikals and Smith gave TCU a 13-9 lead and forced Baylor into a timeout.
The Bears were able to pick up two kills out of the timeout, but TCU capitalized off errors by Baylor along with a kill from Mikals and a solo block from Gower for a 16-11 lead. The Bears picked up their offense and brought the set within two twice, until Smith and Mikals connected on the outside, along with two straight hitting errors by Baylor gave the Frogs set point at 24-18. TCU was held from the victory for just a few points until Pickens slammed down her fifth kill of the match to five the Frogs a 25-20 win.
The third set was almost an exact replica of the first set, with the two teams fighting for points from the start with nine ties in the first half of the set. A service error by the Frogs knotted the set even at 10-10, as Baylor used the error to go on a 5-1 run and take a 15-11 lead into the media timeout. A kill from Blaire Pickens out of the break along with a block from McGuire and Heist and an ace from Langley brought the set within one, 15-14.
TCU would keep the set close and bring it within one on five separate occasions, but two straight kills from the Bears along with a costly error by TCU gave the Bears the third set 25-21 and a 2-1 lead in the match.
McGuire was the offense for TCU to start the fourth set, with the sophomore striking down three straight kills as the Frogs took a 4-3 lead. Baylor responded by going on a 6-0 run and taking back the lead, 9-4, as TCU took a timeout. A service error by the Bears, along with an attack error brought the set within three, 9-6, and TCU took three of the next four points to bring the lead down to one. The Frogs continued to roll and went on a 6-3 run to regain the lead, 15-13.
Baylor did not let the Frogs run away with the set and fought back to take three of the next four points to notch the set even, 16-16. The battle for points would roll on, with four ties taking place before three straight kills from Baylor gave them a 22-20 lead. TCU could not close the gap and dropped the fourth set, 25-23, and the match.
TCU will wrap up its road swing by traveling to Ames, Iowa to take on Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 4 p.m., at the Hilton Coliseum.
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