It was simple. Someone's perfect start had to end.
Missouri and Baylor, both undefeated and ranked among the top 20 volleyball teams in the nation, met Friday night at the Baylor Classic in the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas. When it was over, only Baylor's record remained unblemished.
Missouri, No. 17 in the latest rankings, suffered its first loss of the season, falling in straight sets to drop its record to 8-1. The Tigers matched up well against Baylor (8-0 and ranked No. 5) in the early and middle stages of the first two sets but fell short in the dying moments of each as the Bears prevailed 25-22 and 25-18.
Missouri fought back in the third set to erase a 24-22 deficit and stay in the game, but eventually folded at 26-24.
“I thought we battled all night against a really good Baylor team," said interim head coach Joshua Taylor in a media release. "We knew this would be a tough opponent and environment. Baylor took advantage of some late runs in almost each set and that was the difference tonight. I think we can learn from our mistakes and use that in preparation for tomorrow versus another great team in Hawaii.”
Despite the loss, there were a number of positives for the Tigers as junior Kylie Deberg posted her second 20-plus kill match of the season with 21 kills. She produced a season-high of three aces to go with her kills and maintained her personal streak of multiple aces in all nine matches.
Andrea Fuentes had 37 assists, the seventh time this season she has reached the 35-assist mark, and Leandra Mangual-Duran recorded a team-high 12 digs for her fourth match in double digits this season.
The Tigers end their nonconference schedule with a 1 p.m. CT Baylor Classic matchup Saturday against No. 13 Hawaii.