WVU remains winless in Big 12 play after loss to BU
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 08:10
The Mountaineer volleyball team returns to Morgantown still winless in the month of October after a hard-fought loss to the Baylor Bears Saturday.
"We put together some good runs," said West Virginia head coach Jill Kramer. "But we need to get more than that. It’s just a matter of stringing those runs together.
Kramer’s Mountaineer women started off slow to begin the match, and a pair of service aces to contribute to an early 7-4 deficit. The Mountaineers shot out to an early 4-0 lead in the second set and held Baylor back until an 8-0 run by the Bears put them in the driver’s seat to take the set 25-22.
"We let them go on a few runs late, and it hurt us," Kramer said. "We held them until 19-15, and then they went on a run. When we lost the lead, I was already out of timeouts."
The Mountaineers fought hard in what would be the final set as strong serving from Liz Gulick and the attacking force of freshmen Hannah Sackett and Caleah Wells pushed Baylor into a seesaw battle that would eventually end with a 9-2 run by the Bears to take the set and the match.
With the loss to Baylor, West Virginia continues its winless October and extends its losing streak to eight games. West Virginia has yet to win in the Big 12 conference and it holds an 0-8 record in against conference opponents.
The Mountaineers have seen several adjustments in their past eight games, including moving Liz Gulick into the starting libero position as freshman Anna Panagiotakopoulos sits out with a lower back injury that has plagued her over the past few weeks.
"I changed thing up a little with Nikki (Attea) and Arielle (Allen)," Kramer said. "I moved Nikki out from the right side and put Arielle in her place. That was working really nicely, and I think we’ll be seeing more of that. It is something we worked on during the week in practice, and it turned out pretty well."
Defensively, Allen recorded a team high 13
digs on the match, and Sackett commanded the outside hitter position with 13 kills. Gulick also contributed offensively as she recorded a match and season-high four aces to continue the Mountaineers’ reputation as a strong serving team.
As a team, West Virginia only recorded one service error while recording eight aces to complete one of their best matches of the season from the service line.
"We definitely did what we do best," Kramer said. "We served the ball excellently against Baylor. We look for matches like this. This is our strength, so to see it continue to get better is something we can build on."
Building has been the name of the game for the Mountaineers, as they began the season with just three players on the team with past experience as a member of Kramer’s squad. Throughout the season, Kramer has often started four or more freshman and was successful early in the season – the young team responded well to its first taste of NCAA play.
Since the beginning of Big 12 play, however, the Mountaineers have struggled.
The team will hope to right the ship against No. 14 Kansas State as the Mountaineers return to Morgantown to host the Wildcats Wednesday.