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Volleyball falls to Longhorns

Nov. 11, 2010

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Nick Berryman | Lariat Photographer
No. 24 outside hitter Ashlie Christenson bumps the ball while playing against The University of Texas on Wednesday at the Ferrell Center. The Bears lost, 3-1.

By Rachel Roach
Sports Writer

After coming off a win against Texas A&M last week, Baylor entered its match prepared to play against the seventh-ranked University of Texas. The Longhorns prevailed in a 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 27-25, 25-17) win over the Bears.

"This is the No. 7 team in the country and we really had them on the ropes, and when you get a team against the ropes you got to focus in and execute, and we just didn't get it done," head coach Jim Barnes said.

Baylor came out strong in the first set. Baylor kept the lead for the majority of the set and made sure the score was close, only allowing the Longhorns to take the lead twice, never scoring one point more than the Bears. The set was the first time since October 2006 that the Bears had won a set against Texas.

"It shows that we can play against the top teams...it's good for us," senior Elizabeth Graham said.

The second game was less successful for Baylor. While the team tallied a number of clutch digs against the Longhorns, its effort was not enough to match up. Texas acquired a .259 hitting percentage compared to Baylor's .208, even though the Bears had more digs with 34 to Texas' 33.

Graham and senior Ashlie Christenson each gained four more kills to lead with seven and eight respective kills.

Graham helped the Bears get the lead early in the third set. The middle started off with two blocks and one kill for a 4-1 advantage over Texas. Later in the set the Bears held a seemingly commanding a 19-10 lead. However, Texas turned things around. Once the Longhorns scored 23-17 they never looked back, and quickly gained three more points to get to a 23-20 score.

Texas came back and won the set from behind and finished 27-25 on a 6-0 run as Baylor failed to convert four set point chances.

"I feel like we were too relaxed. We got too comfortable with our lead. It's a hard loss but it's definitely going make us stronger," Campbell said.

Barnes said the third set was a mental breakdown.

"They lose their focus on just the small detail of what we're doing there when they start to think about winning and losing. ...We've got to maintain our focus," Barnes said.

The fourth set was no match for the Longhorns' senior weapon, Juliann Faucette. She led all players with 30 kills, while Christenson's 15 led the Bears. Trice gained six digs during the set, but Baylor's efforts left it with a 17-25 set deficit and the 18th consecutive loss to Texas.

Baylor next plays away at Kansas State at 7 p.m. Saturday and at Kansas at 6 p.m. on Nov. 17.