Volleyball falls to Baylor in four sets

Senior opposite Bryna Vogel and teammate junior libero Reilly Killeen fight for the pass during the game against Baylor at Ahern Fieldhouse on Oct. 14, 2017. (Photo by Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State volleyball team could not get past the Baylor Bears on Saturday, ending the night with a 3-1 loss inside Ahearn Field House.

K-State is now 9-11 overall and 2-5 in Big 12 conference play this season, while Baylor’s record improves to 16-4 overall and 6-1 in Big 12 conference play.

The first two sets were close losses for K-State. The Wildcats rallied to narrowly take the third set, but Baylor struck back with a vengeance in the fourth set.

“I thought we played really well at times,” head coach Suzie Fritz said to K-State Sports. “The connection between our middles and our setters was as good as it’s been. At times, I thought our serving kept us in it.”

Junior outside hitter Kylee Zumach led the team’s offense with 13 kills, while senior opposite Bryna Vogel ended with a team high of 22 digs and freshman middle blocker Peyton Williams hit almost .476.

“Consistency is part of being good in anything that you do,” Fritz said. “We are still developing consistency. We are working incredibly hard to be more consistent — to be good over time.”

Fritz also discussed the team’s consistency during Saturday’s game specifically.

“That effort, for the most part — with the exception of the beginning of game four — was the most consistent effort we’ve had from start to finish, probably, in the last couple of matches,” Fritz said. “We can’t be 100 percent concerned with results all the time. We have to continue to be focused on the progress, and there was a lot of progress in that one.”

In set one, the Wildcats found themselves tied at 22, but the Bears won the final three points to take the opening set. The second set was also very competitive as Baylor led 23-21, and it was once again Baylor who scored two points in a row and led the game 2-0.

In the third set, K-State was the team that scored the key points late in the set and won 25-22. However, the fourth set was all Baylor, who won 25-11 to take the 3-1 win.

“They’re really, really good,” Fritz said about Baylor. “They’ve got three great pin hitters. [Shelly] Fanning is really good in the middle, as well. They are very balanced offensively and they play really, really fast.”

Zumach was happy with how the team played, but said she wished a few things went differently.

“Obviously, it’s not the outcome we wanted,” Zumach said. “They have such an offensively productive team, they were firing on all cylinders at every position. It was hard to get on a roll.”

The Wildcats have a week’s break before they face off against West Virginia University on the road Saturday afternoon.