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Slow-starting Lady Bears lose 3-1 to A&M Aggies

Nov. 3, 2005

by DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD, reporter

On Oct. 19, Baylor's volleyball team snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Texas A&M University Aggies when it beat them 3-1 in College Station.

But the Aggies got revenge with a 3-1 (30-25, 23-30, 30-23, 30-19) win of their own Wednesday at the Ferrell Special Events Center.

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Jamie Westmoreland | Lariat staff
Right side hitter Kelly Spriggs, left, and junior middle blocker Desiree Guilliard-Young block the ball against Texas A&M on Wednesday evening at the Ferrell Special Events Center. Guilliard-Young's 14 kills were not enough as the Lady Bears ended a four-game winning streak against the Aggies.
The Bears had been doing well, winning five of their last six matches, but they were a step slow in every game against the Aggies.

Head Coach Jim Barnes said the slow starts killed the team's momentum.

"We hurt ourselves, starting slow and a little tight in every (game)," Barnes said. "Some of our passing was a little off tonight, which allowed them to get a run. So we had to work so hard to get back into games."

The slow starts began in the first game when the Aggies rushed out to a quick 12-6 lead.

The Aggies kept momentum and controlled the game to coast to a 30-25 victory.

The second game started where the first ended, with A&M taking a 6-2 lead. The Bears fought back, though, and were able to tie the match at 10. From here, the Bears never trailed as they went on to win the game comfortably, 30-23.

Desiree Guilliard-Young led the Baylor offense, tallying seven of her 14 kills and hitting .875 in the second game.

The Bears were unable to carry any momentum over to the third game. They were able to cut the lead to two at 13-11. But that was as close as they would get as A&M rolled to a 30-23 win.

A&M steamrolled the Bears 30-19 in game four to take the match.

Junior captain and outside hitter Nicole LeBlanc was disappointed with her team's inability to start games strong.

"Once you give a team breathing room, it's hard to take it back," LeBlanc said. "It's hard once you start slow to play catch-up."

LeBlanc led the Bears offensively with 16 kills, but the defense had no answer for Laura Jones, A&M's outside hitter who finished the match with 31 kills.

In the coming week, the Bears face a tough patch on their schedule as they hit the road for their next two matches to face No. 14 University of Texas and No. 13 University of Missouri.

While the Bears were disappointed with the loss against A&M, Guilliard-Young said the season is far from over.

"We're definitely going to take the mistakes that we made here and the things we did well, and learn from them and apply them when we play Texas at their house," Guilliard-Young said. "And hopefully we'll come up with a win."