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Despite career night from Graham, volleyball falls in five sets to OU

Nov. 2, 2010

By Rachel Roach
Sports Writer

Volleyball lost against Oklahoma 2-3 (18-25, 25-16, 25-18, 19-25, 8-15) on Saturday in its second game of the second round of conference play. The team fell to 5-7 in the Big 12.

"It was just a tough, tough loss for us because we had the game in control being up two games to one," head coach Jim Barnes said.

Baylor fell short in the first set but pulled through and dominated in sets two and three.

Senior Elizabeth Graham attributes the team's successful sets to the athletes' ability to play together and have fun.

"We were getting some good kills and digs, and blocking was there, sets were there, everything was there ... we really just went out there and had fun," Graham said.

The Bears' skills were showcased in their ability to take control during the two sets against the Sooners, who are in third place in the Big 12 standings. In games two and three, Baylor had a 75 and 73 sideout percentage compared the to Sooners' 47 and 54 percent.

"They had no answer for our offense ... Oklahoma actually looked defeated after game three," Barnes said.

But in the fourth and fifth sets, Baylor lost its momentum. Barnes attributes the team's shortcomings to its inability to pass "on the net."

The Bears were passing the ball too far from their setter, which in turn caused the hitters to be off and hindered the team from running its offense that was so successful in sets two and three.

"As game four went on, bottom line, we started passing off the net and we got out of our offense and we let them back in," Barnes said. "We really should have put them away when we had the opportunity to, and we just didn't."

The team's weakness was its inability to maintain focus.

"I think we broke down mentally," Graham said.

Offensively, Graham and redshirt freshman Zoe Adom each set career high kills.

Graham had the highest kills for the match at 18 and hit .357, while Adom recorded 12 kills and hit .435.

"My biggest thing to get over was not worrying about messing up, just playing for my team," Adom said.

Defensively, the team played well.

"Both teams were pretty much nose for nose; there weren't a lot of digs in the match because both teams were putting the ball away," Barnes said.

Despite the low total number, Baylor had four players with digs in the double digits.

Senior Caitlyn Trice and junior Brittany Ridenour's 13 digs each, followed by juniors Qian Zhang and Allison King's 12 digs, led the Bears.

In order to improve for the next match, the team plans to focus on passing as well as the other main elements of the game.

"It's just getting more consistent and understanding that when things get a little tight we can't tighten up and pass off the net; we have to continue to pass on the net and execute other elements of the game," Barnes said.

The Bears next play Iowa State at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ames.