WACO, Texas (BP)--Sophomore middle blocker Desiree Guilliard-Young led five Baylor players with double-digit kills as the Bears rallied for a 3-1 (27-30, 30-22, 31-29, 30-28) victory over Oklahoma in Big 12 volleyball action Sept. 22 at the Ferrell Center.
Guilliard-Young hit .464 and tied a career-high with 16 kills and added five blocks (two solo) for the Bears (7-5, 1-2 Big 12). Junior middle blocker Adeline Meira hit .545 with a career-high 13 kills and added seven blocks. Junior outside hitter Stella Odion recorded her third double-double of the season with 14 kills and 11 digs, while junior outside hitter Kelly Spriggs added 10 kills.
Sophomore right-side hitter Nicole LeBlanc and junior setter Emily Huston each almost recorded triple-doubles. LeBlanc had 12 kills, eight digs and a match-high eight blocks. Huston had eight kills, a four-game match career-high 57 assists and 10 digs. Freshman defensive specialist Kristen Schramek led Baylor with a career-high 14 digs.
"I liked how we played tough and how we attacked more efficiently," head coach Jim Barnes said. "We just have to play smarter so we can increase the lead and not make so many unforced errors. I thought we connected well and we just need to show that we're going to get tougher and not let up."
Baylor fell back into bad habits in game one, failing to put Oklahoma away due to a lack of a blocking presence. The two teams matched each other point-for-point until an ace by Oklahoma's Gabriela Tonon gave the Sooners a 23-22 lead. The Sooners went up by three on a key service error by Meira to make it 27-24, then closed out the game, 30-27. Oklahoma hit .351 in game one, compared to .256 for Baylor, which was held without a block in the game.
The Bears focused on stopping the Sooners at the net in game two and scored four of their first nine points on blocks to take a 9-5 lead. Baylor wound up with a total of 7.0 team blocks in the game, hitting .303 and holding Oklahoma to a .000 attack percentage. The Bears opened up an eight-point lead on five occasions before evening the match by that same margin, 30-22.
Both teams came out swinging in game three as the Sooners hit .381 with 21 kills and the Bears hit .378 with 19 kills. There were seven lead changes in the game and 17 ties. A kill by Meira tied the game at 26, but a pair of kills by Tonon seemed to put the Bears away. Joanna Schmitt let the Bears off the hook with a costly service error, and the Bears scored the next two points, the last on an ace by LeBlanc, to take the lead at 29-28. The Sooners came back to tie the game at 29-29, but kills from Huston and Odion clinched a 31-29 win.
Baylor came out slow in game four, falling behind, 4-0. The Bears recovered to hang around and trailed 17-14 until ripping off four straight points on a kill by Meira, back-to-back kills by Odion and an ace by Huston to take an 18-17 lead. The Sooners would not go away as they tied the Bears five times down the stretch but never took the lead. The match ended, fittingly, on a kill by Meira from Huston, who seemed to really gel for the first time all season.
"We decided that this was going to be the night we turned it around," Huston, one of the Bears co-captains, said. "We prepared well on a few things we need to improve and we were able to spread it around. I have to give credit to the passers, because without them it would be impossible to get it to all of the hitters like we did tonight."
Tonon led Oklahoma (8-3, 0-3) with a match-high 18 kills, while Keri Coats added 16 and Schmitt had 15. Rachel Jackson had a match-high 16 digs and added 54 assists, while Stephanie Tengram added 11 digs.
Baylor ended up hitting .301 for the match, while Oklahoma hit .238. The Bears posted 14 team blocks, but allowed the Sooners 10, the first time this season a Baylor opponent has reached double digits.
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