Early Match Woes Too Much For Volleyball To Overcome In Waco
Mean Green Rallies Late, Falls To Baylor 3-1
WACO -- The North Texas volleyball team fell to the Baylor Bears 3-1 (25-14, 25-18, 26-28, 25-23) in its final match before beginning Conference USA play on Friday.
North Texas (6-9) struggled to find its offensive rhythm and was overpowered by Baylor's blocking game early in the match. The Mean Green's offense couldn't get in sync, as Baylor continuously blocked their shots or forced the Mean Green into tough shots. Baylor had 11 blocks and forced 19 attack errors in the first two sets, en route to 25-14 and 25-18 victories and a 2-0 lead.
"We need to come out of the gates stronger and be ready to go from point one," head coach Andrew Palileo said. "Baylor did a good job at blocking us in the first two sets, but we worked around it after that. We will make our adjustments and get ready to go on Friday."
The Mean Green came out strong in set three, taking a 9-4 lead early, and would extend their lead to what looked to be 18-10, but Baylor challenged whether the ball hit the floor before the dig occurred and won, reverting the score to 17-11 in favor of the Mean Green.
The Bears went on a 4-0 run lead after the challenge, cutting the lead to 17-15, but North Texas continued to maintain its advantage until Baylor took its first lead of the set at 26-25. A double-block by Alexis Wright and Jordyn Williams tied the set at 26, and the Mean Green secured a 28-26 victory in a thrilling set three.
Baylor gained some of the momentum back, starting set four on a 5-2 run, but North Texas would not go away quietly, rallying to take a 10-8 lead after an ace by BrynCaitlin Walker and a Baylor attack error. Baylor took advantage late at 24-21, and secured a 25-23 victory on back-to-back kills by BIG 12 kills leader Katie Staiger. The win moves Baylor's record to 11-4.
• With her fourth kill of the match, Amanda Chamberlain became a member of the 500 kills club
• Head coach Andrew Palileo used his first challenge of the season, but was unsuccessful
• Baylor was successful on both of its challenges, resulting in a point being taken away from the Mean Green on each one and shifting the momentum back in its favor
• Alex Janak posted a season-high 18 assists in the match
• North Texas was out-hit .173 to .058
• The Mean Green continued their strong serving, tallying eight aces in the match
Next Up For The Mean Green
The Mean Green begins Conference USA play on Fri., Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. versus Southern Miss before finishing the week versus Florida International on Sun., Sept. 25, at 1 p.m. Both matches will be played at the North Texas Volleyball Center. A tailgate is scheduled for 6 p.m. before the match on Friday.