Consistency was a major focal point for the volleyball team going into their game against Baylor on Tuesday, but unfortunately they were unable to harness a full set’s worth of it.
The team showed they could compete early, but gave up two big leads late in the first two sets and lost the match in straight sets, 25-22, 26-24, 25-13.
Coach Karen Chisum said there really was no excuse, and the team will face the kind of height and talent displayed by Baylor all season long in Division I play.
“We’re going to see that size all year long,” Chisum said. “I don’t want to use that excuse because that’s what Division I volleyball is going to be about. That’s what the WAC is going to be about. We’ve got to be able to compete with those people.”
Baylor is in no way a slouch of a Division I team and is now 6-1 on the season. Coming into this season they were picked to finish 5th in the Big 12, which is tied for their second highest pre-season ranking.
Youth and inexperience have been another talking point about the team early this season, but Chisum said that should not and cannot be a crutch to lean on much longer.
“I don’t want to use the term ‘we’re young all season long,’” Chisum said. “That’s not an excuse. We’ve got to move on and we’ve got to get better every night.”
The first set showed promise for the Bobcats going down to the wire. Texas State trailed early, 8-4, but rebounded after a timeout to take their first lead at 15-13. It remained competitive until the final volley went back and forth multiple times between the two. It ended in Baylor’s favor, however, to earn a 1-0 set lead.
The second set started much like the first with Texas State down early 9-5. They managed to rebound, yet again, with another run to even the score 9-9. The Bobcats took the lead 14-11 to force Baylor to call a timeout and continued with the momentum after the break, scoring another three straight points to force Baylor into another timeout, down 17-11.
Baylor roared back after the timeout, however, with a run much similar to the first set that tied the game at 22-22, an 11-5 surge. The comeback was a major turning point in the match as it took away any Bobcat momentum left and allowed the Bears to run to a 24-22 lead. The Bobcats tried to scratch their way back in and brought the game to a tie at 24. However, their second blown lead in as many sets was just too much to overcome. The Bobcats dropped the second set 24-26 and surrendered 15 of the final 22 points in the match.
Looking to shake off two squandered leads in two set losses, the Bobcats came out in the third set with the same story, down early 11-5. The match continued on with Baylor’s pressure as they brought the score to 20-11. Texas State could do little to weather the storm from then on, falling 25-14.
Overall, the Bobcats were outscored 40-21 in the final moments of a disappointing match for Texas State.
“It was up and down all night,” Chisum said. “We can compete with these guys. We had a 7- or 8-point lead in game two and we let it get away. I was disappointed particularly in game two and then in game three. It was like, ‘Let’s just go out there and get this over with.’ You’ve got to compete. We didn’t compete at all in the third set.”
Chisum said the team must learn from their mistakes and ready themselves for another big game versus Auburn Friday at the SMU Invitational.
“They’ve got to be hungry for another win,” Chisum said. “They’ve got to be hungry to play again. It’s not like football where you have a whole week to prepare. In volleyball you’re going to play, then you’re going to play again in two or three days. You’ve got to forget it and move on.”