Baylor Rallies to Beat Owls, 3-1
Sept. 2, 2014
WACO, Texas – Four Rice Owls recorded 10 or more kills, and Leah Mikesky and Sara Blasier both registered double-doubles in a 3-1 loss (20-25, 25-22, 28-30, 17-25) to the Baylor Bears at the Ferrell Center Tuesday evening.
Rice (2-2) was aiming to start 3-1 for the first time since the 2009 season but a third-set loss turned the tide and Baylor (3-1) rallied to defeat the Owls for a fifth straight meeting.
The Owls had four players with 10 or more kills for the first time since Oct. 18, 2013 when Rice accomplished the feat at UTSA. Leah Mikesky led Rice in kills (14) for a third consecutive match and also had 12 digs for her first career double-double. Chelsey Harris (13 kills), Jillian Humphrey (10 kills) and Lizzy Bache (10 kills) also posted double-figure kills.
Sara Blasier also registered her seventh career double-double with 39 assists and 11 digs. Rice was outhit for the match, .247-.197, and had four more attack errors (26-22) than the Bears.
Baylor was led junior Andie Malloy (20 kills, 15 digs), Tola Itiola (16 kills) and Amy Rosenbaum (48 assists).
The Owls tried to stage a late comeback in the opening set, closing the gap to 20-18, but Baylor pulled away for a 25-20 victory. Chelsey Harris led the Owls with four kills and Sara Blasier had seven assists but Rice hit just .167 for the set and had seven attack errors, compared to a .393 clip from the Bears.
Rice carried their late momentum in the opening set into set two, defeating Baylor 25-22 behind a .263 attack percentage. After eight separate ties between the two teams, Rice broke an 18-18 tie by scoring the game’s next four points on two kills from Mikesky and one each by Lizzy Bache and Blasier. Baylor managed to cut the deficit to 24-22 but Harris responded with a game-winning kill to give the Owls a 25-22 victory.
The Owls had a golden opportunity to take a 2-1 match lead but Baylor rallied from a 23-19 deficit in the third set to defeat Rice 30-28. The Owls held a 28-27 lead but Baylor scored the three points. There were 11 ties and five lead changes in the final set before the Owls were outscored 11-3 during the final stretch.
Rice next travels to the East Coast to participate in the NC State Courtyard Midtown Classic, involving the Owls, NC State, Toledo and UConn. Rice will first face NC State on Friday, Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. (CT). They will then play a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 9 a.m. (CT) against UConn, followed by a 4 p.m. match against Toledo.