K-State Falls to No. 24 Baylor, 3-1

WACO, Texas - Kansas State junior college transfer Vanessa Murray posted a season-high 12 kills in her first career start, however, the change was not enough to alter the outcome as No. 24 Baylor earned a 3-1 win by scores of 25-10, 20-25, 25-13, 25-22 on Saturday afternoon at the Ferrell Center.

Kansas State to fell to 6-6 overall and 0-3 in Big 12 play, while Baylor rebounded from its first loss of the season to move to 12-1 overall and 1-1 in league action.  Five of the Wildcats' six losses have come to teams either ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 poll with all five games coming in four or more sets.

K-State were plagued all afternoon by hitting mistakes, connecting on 41 kills with 32 errors for a season-low .061 hitting percentage.  Baylor hit a solid .218 from the net with 49 kills. 

In addition to Murray's 12-kill effort, the Wildcats got another solid outing from redshirt freshman outside hitter Kathleen Ludwig, who nearly tallied a double-double with nine kills and a team-high 15 digs.  Senior middle blocker Kelsey Chipman totaled seven kills, seven blocks and six digs, while junior libero Lauren Mathewson had 14 digs and a pair of service aces. 

Baylor was led by the two-headed attack of Ashlie Christenson (14 kills) and Katie Sanders (11 kills), who combined for 25 of the Bears' 49 kills.   All-conference setter Taylor Barnes was also stellar on the day with 39 assists, eight digs, five kills, three blocks and two service aces.  

Baylor jumped out to 25-10 win in set one behind a sizzling .391 hitting percentage.  With the set tied at 1-all, the Bears rattled off seven straight points then after a point by the Wildcats scored eight of the next nine points to take a commanding 16-3 lead.  K-State would close the gap to 19-9 behind a pair of kills and a block by Chipman, but it wasn't enough as BU scored six of the next seven points to clinch the victory.

The Wildcats rebounded from a poor start to even the match at 1-all with a solid 25-20 win in set two.  After hitting negative .091 in the opening set, the squad responded with 16 kills on .256 hitting led by five kills from Chisholm.  K-State scored five of the first six points on the service of Lauren Mathewson and Kathleen Ludwig and held the lead throughout the set.  The Bears closed to within a pair of points on two occasions, including 22-20, before the Cats closed the set with three consecutive points. 

K-State looked like it had gained new life after its' set two win, jumping out to a 5-2 led on back-to-back blocks by Chipman.  However, nationally-ranked Baylor clawed its way back into the set, scoring 12 of the next 15 points to first tie it at 7-all then taking a decisive 14-8 edge.  The Wildcats could not overcome the Bears' momentum and their own poor hitting (six kills and six hitting errors) in falling 25-13.  Murray had two kills and a block in the set.

The Wildcats looked strong early in set four, jumping out to a 7-3 advantage behind two kills and a block by Chipman.  After Baylor rallied to tie the set, K-State scored three consecutive points to take an 18-15 lead.   The squads battled back and forth late in the set before the Bears ran off three straight points with the score knotted at 22-all to close the set and the match, 25-22.

Kansas State returns home on Wednesday, Sept. 23 when the Wildcats play host to Texas Tech (2-8, 0-1 Big 12) at Ahearn Field House with first serve set for 7 p.m.