Aug. 31, 2007
WACO, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin volleyball team struggled to find momentum Friday night, falling to Baylor 3-0 (30-15, 30-25, 30-18) for the second straight year at the Baylor Invitational.
Head coach Debbie Humphreys' group could never find their groove against their Big 12 opponent and has now lost their last four to the Lady Bears (3-1, 0-0) dating back to 1995. It is also the first time since 2002 that SFA (1-3, 0-0) has dropped three straight matches and the first time since 1999 that they have been swept in three straight.
"We are playing a very tough schedule right now and in the midst of that we are just trying to find some consistency," Humphreys said. "We are struggling to find momentum right now and we are playing teams that can take advantage of any time we do not execute."
SFA was led by JJ Jones with 21 assists, six digs and five kills in the three-game match. Her senior teammates also had decent numbers with Traci Rohde picking up a team-high five blocks and Jami Hill tallying a team-high 10 digs. Rohde would hit a milestone of her own, as she registered the 1,000th kill of her career in the first game.
The Lady Bears were also led by their setter, Taylor Barnes, who finished with her second double-double of the season with 43 assists and 11 digs. Overall, the Lady Bears would put seven players in the kill column and have another four players in double-figure digs.
Baylor grabbed the lead early in the first game and never gave it back, finishing with its biggest lead of the frame on the game's final point at 30-15. Katie Sanders led the Lady Bears attack with 10 kills in the stanza as Baylor managed a .312 hitting percentage. The Ladyjacks, conversely, produced their second game of the year with a negative hitting percentage as they were only able to manage a -.100 mark.
SFA made a run at the home team in the second game, but the Lady Bears' proved to be too much. Lauren Railey and Ashley Bailey would combine for nine kills and Jones would garner 11 of her assists in game two, but Baylor never relinquished the lead. Baylor led by as much as seven before closing the deal at 30-25
Game three saw the Ladyjacks come out with a sense of urgency, but Baylor would quickly quell that fire. SFA led early but held its last lead at 6-5 on a kill by Rohde. The Baylor lead would swell to as much as 10 before Shelly Swendig, Railey and freshman Arielle Daron put down kills to cut the lead to seven at 25-18. That would be as close as the final game would get as Barnes would dish out assists on three of the final five points to close out the match.
"Now is the time we have to find out what is going to work and what is not," Humphreys said. "Hopefully after tomorrow we will have a good idea of what are good options in different situations."
The Ladyjacks will continue the Baylor Invitational tomorrow with a pair of matches. SFA will take on Oregon at 11 a.m. in the day's opening match before squaring off with Mississippi State at 5 p.m. All matches can be followed as they occur via Gametracker