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Lady Bears fall to No. 14 Texas A&M, 3-0 Wednesday

Nov. 4, 2004

Head Coach Barnes said team prepared well, but didn't 'play enough defense'

By DREW WILLIAMSON, sports writer

The Lady Bear volleyball team came into Wednesday night's contest trying to break a five-match conference-losing streak, but the Lady Bears were unable to emulate the football team's performance on Saturday and fell to No. 14 Texas A&M University, 3-0.

Robyn Kenagy | Lariat staff
Sophomore Desiree Guilliard-Young, left, and junior Kelly Spriggs reach for a block on Wednesday. The Lady Bear volleyball team tried to break a five-match conference-losing streak, but were unable to defeat the No. 14 Texas A&M University in a 3-0 loss.
In the first game, the Aggies got off to quick start and never looked back, winning 30-14. The Lady Bears were overpowered as the Aggies held a double-digit lead throughout most of the first game.

"We were a little overzealous and we started thinking too far ahead," junior Stella Odion said.

While Texas A&M was able to repeatedly find the gaps in the Baylor defense, the Baylor offense was never able to get off the ground. The Aggies had a .405 hitting percentage in the first game, while the Lady Bears were only able to hit .143.

"We prepared well for this team and we had a great practice yesterday, but when we started tonight I don't know what team was out there," head Coach Jim Barnes said. "So, we had to try to forget about game one and look to play hard in game two."

In the second game, the Lady Bears played with more composure and looked determined to make the match more competitive, as they hit .359 for the second game. The team also played better defense in the second frame, amassing five team blocks.

"The energy on the court was different, we didn't want A&M to feel that they could just roll over us," sophomore Desiree Guilliard-Young said.

Baylor was able to gain their first lead of the game at 17-16, and was within striking distance of the lead most of the way.

However, the Aggies came out strong after calling a timeout and the Lady Bears were never able to get over the hump, losing the second game 30-26.

"We just weren't jumping early and they were able to continually beat us over the top tonight," Barnes said.

With their backs against the wall in the third game, the Lady Bears came out fighting for every point. After giving up an early lead, Baylor played catch-up as they did the whole match.

The Lady Bears clawed their way back into the game and found themselves down only one point at 26-27, but they could not gain the necessary momentum, and lost the third and final game, 30-27.

"Everytime we'd get a little momentum we'd let the ball hit the ground, and you can't do that against a ranked team," Barnes said. "We just didn't play enough team defense tonight."

Baylor ended up hitting .242 for the match, but the solid offensive attack was not enough to overcome the powerful offensive prowess of Texas A&M.

"Out offensive game was good, but we couldn't get any defensive stops when we needed to," Barnes said.

Texas A&M's tandem of senior Melissa Munsch and junior Laura Jones led the way for the Aggies, combining for 34 kills.

For the Lady Bears, one of the bright spots was the play of Guilliard-Young who led the team in kills with 11 to go along with a hitting percentage of .450 and whose energy fueled the rest of the team.

"The last two weeks [Desiree] has really stepped up her game and she's continuing to grow as a player," Barnes said. "She's becoming a star for us."

The loss drops Baylor to 11-14 overall and 3-11 in the Big 12 conference. The Lady Bears will play four of their last six games at home as they look to get back on track, starting with Iowa State 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ferrell Special Events Center.