It could have been a complete rout, except for one detail. The third game.
The MU volleyball team defeated Baylor 3-1 (30-18, 30-19, 24-30, 30-15) at Hearnes Center on Saturday.
The Tigers (5-3 overall, 1-1 Big 12) won the first two games easily but then lost the third before rebounding for another blowout to close out the match.
“Everything was going our way,” sophomore outside hitter Jessica Vander Kooi said. “We just got in a little rut there…but in the fourth game we came back.”
Junior outside hitter Shen Danru led all players with 19 kills. Vander Kooi had 17 and middle blockers Lisa Boyd and Nicole Wilson combined for 24 blocks with just three errors.
In a nearly perfect first game, Missouri never trailed and the score was tied only twice. A 7-1 run gave the Tigers a 14-7 lead, and Shen had six kills on six attacks for a perfect hitting percentage.
“I didn’t even know that,” Shen said of her 6-for-6 game. “I just told myself, whenever they give me the ball, just hit the ball over the net.”
The second game wasn’t much better for the Bears (6-5, 0-2). Once again, Baylor never led and MU had a hitting percentage of more than .400. In each of the first two games, the Bears scored only three points on their own serve.
“I felt like we had good focus,” coach Susan Kreklow said. “We were able to control the ball and run the offense up-tempo.”
Then came the hiccup. After hardly breaking a sweat in the first two games, the Tigers began the third on a 4-1 spurt, but Baylor came back and then finished the game on a 7-0 run. The Tigers adjusted their tactics in the fourth game, using an 8-2 run to take a 17-10 lead and then ending the match with a 5-0 spurt.