TCU volleyball fell to Baylor Saturday. Photo by Heesoo Yang.
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TCU volleyball fell to Baylor in straight sets Saturday. Photo by Heesoo Yang.

Coming off of their first conference win, TCU volleyball gave No. 1 Baylor all they could handle but fell in three sets.

The Bears were forced to score 34 points in the third set as TCU continued to fight against the nation’s top team.

“Baylor, they’re just playing well, and they have been all year,” head coach Jill Kramer said. 

The top-ranked Bears improve to 15-0 on the year with the sweep.

First-year setter McKenzie Nichols continued her brilliant play as of late for TCU with 35 assists and 10 digs, her third-career double-double.

Setter McKenzie Nichols (14) has established herself as TCU’s starting setter. Photo by Heesoo Yang.

Though TCU fought, Baylor proved why they’re the No. 1 team in the country during the first two sets. The Frogs never led at any point beyond the first five points in either set, and the Bears took a commanding 2-0 lead.

Middle blocker Katie Clark had been a lone bright spot for TCU during that span, tallying four kills in each of the first two sets. 

Despite their deficit, the Frogs looked confident in the third set, taking a 13-8 right out of the gate, forcing a Baylor timeout.

“We came out really well in that third set. I thought we were pretty sharp,” Kramer said. “We were playing really great volleyball.”

The set would turn into a war from that point forward. TCU defended four match points while seeing five set points of their own. Redshirt junior outside hitter Ashley Waggle was electric offensively, recording seven kills in the third set alone.

Waggle finished with 12 kills on the day, her third game recording double-digit kills in the last four games.

The Frogs totaled 19 digs in the third set, five of which came from Élan McCall, who finished with 12 digs on the day.

In the end, Baylor would prevail 34-32. It was the first time the Bears had been forced past 30 points by a conference opponent this season.

Outside hitter Ashley Waggle recorded seven kills for TCU in an intense third set. Photo by Heesoo Yang.

“A lot of it is attributed to Kenz [Nichols], because she’s the one setting it up enough for me to do it,” Waggle said about her recent success. “I know that back row has done a good job of telling me what’s open.”

Outside hitter Audrey Nalls and middle blocker Sarah Swanson combined for 16 kills and three blocks in the match.

TCU committed 10 service errors as a team in the loss. Kramer said after the match the outcome may have been different in the third set had the Frogs performed better from the service line.

The Frogs will look to bounce back as they face Iowa State. First serve is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Ames, Iowa.

“I think every place you go in the Big 12 is awesome,” Kramer said. “[It’s] a good chance for us to go and have a great battle on the road.”