The No. 15-ranked West Virginia University volleyball team was unable to overcome offensive struggles, as the Mountaineers suffered a 3-1 loss at No. 2 Baylor on Thursday evening, at the Ferrell Center, in Waco, Texas. The Lady Bears (10-1) took the match from the Mountaineers (5-4) in set scores of 22-25, 25-20, 25-12 and 25-16.
“We have to learn from tonight,” sixth-year coach Reed Sunahara said. “We have to make better adjustments to what they are doing. We weren’t competing as well as we could in the third and fourth sets, which hurt us. We have to stay focus throughout the whole match, and hopefully, we will keep getting better. We have to make better decisions from a hitting standpoint. We can’t make 34 errors against the No. 2 team in the country and expect to win. We have to do a better job all around.”
Junior outside hitter Kristin Lux and freshman right-side hitter/middle blocker Meghan Dombrowski finished the match with 10 kills apiece. Dombrowski recorded a career high on 23 total attacks for a .217 hitting efficiency.
Redshirt senior middle blocker Audrey Adams, senior middle blocker Briana Lynch and junior outside hitter Natali Petrova each had six kills on the evening. Lynch also posted a team-high .263 hitting efficiency and led the team’s blocking efforts with a trio of blocks in the match.
Additionally, junior setter Lacey Zerwas dished out 34 of the team’s 40 assists to go along with a season-high 14 digs and a pair of blocks. With 34 assists and 14 digs, Zerwas recorded her third double-double of the season and 18th of her career.
Senior libero Alexa Hasting also had 14 digs in the match. Petrova and freshman outside hitter/defensive specialist Skye Stokes rounded on the Mountaineers in double figures, adding 12 and 10 digs, respectively, to the scoresheet.
WVU finished the match hitting .055 with 42 kills and five team blocks.
The two teams traded points to start the opening set, but Baylor took advantage of a 4-0 scoring streak to gain the lead at 11-9. West Virginia trailed by three at the media timeout, but the Mountaineers rallied to score seven of the next nine points for the 19-17 advantage and never looked back. WVU capitalized on a pair of BU service errors down the stretch to maintain its two-point edge at 22-20. The Lady Bears used a Mountaineer attacking error on the next serve to stay within one, but kills from Lux and Lynch put West Virginia at set point. Baylor then took its final timeout, using a kill out of the stoppage to extend the set. However, a big swing from Dombrowski ended the first in the Mountaineers’ favor at 25-22 to take a 1-0 match lead.
The second set started similar to the first, with Baylor holding a 16-13 lead midway through the frame. WVU hung around though, scoring five of the next six points for the 18-17 lead. The Lady Bears took a timeout to regroup, capitalizing on a run of their own to score six of the next seven points out of the stoppage for the 23-19 lead. Another BU service error brought WVU within three, but it wasn’t enough, as the Lady Bears put down a kill, followed by a block, to capture the 25-20 second-set victory.
With the overall match tied at one set apiece, the Mountaineers couldn’t keep the momentum going in sets three and four, falling by a score of 25-12 and 25-16, respectively.
The Mountaineers return to the court on Friday for another match against the Lady Bears. First serve is set for 6 p.m. ET inside the Ferrell Center. The contest will be carried live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.