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Daily Bears Report 10/13

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Football digs deep for finishing character. Volleyball drops one to Texas. Baseball 2017 schedule released.

NCAA Football: Baylor at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Events

Tennis

The second-annual Oracle ITA Masters will be played Oct. 13-16 with Pepperdine University hosting the first rounds of competition at Ralphs-Strauss Tennis Center and the semifinals and championship matches at the Malibu Racquet Club.

In singles play, Tchoutakian, ranked No. 54, will play No. 110 Adam Moundir of Old Dominion at 4 p.m. CT Thursday. The winner of that match will meet the winner of No. 9 Arthur Rinderkneck (Texas A&M) and Alex Chepik (Bethune-Cookman) in the round of 16 on Friday.

Tchoutakian is 4-3 in singles action on the season and 3-1 against ranked opponents, after going 2-1 at the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championships.

Meanwhile in doubles, Tchoutakian will partner with Baylor women’s tennis senior Blair Shankle in the 32-duo mixed doubles draw. The BU twosome will open play at 10 a.m. CT Thursday against Lidia Yanes Garcia and Andrew Watson of Austin Peay and Memphis, respectively.

If the two Bears win their opening match, they will play again later Thursday at 6 p.m. vs. the winner of Ashley Lahey (Pepperdine)/Ryotaro Bushamuka (Kentucky) and Lucile Pothier (Abilene Christian)/Michael Feucht (Lamar).

Shankle and Tchoutakian both received one of Oracle's wildcard berths into the tournament.

The 2016 event features a format change from the inaugural event as one woman and one man from each Division I Conference to the championships will compete in both their respective singles as well as a mixed doubles competition.

"This weekend is an another opportunity for Blair to get some more matches under her belt,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “She's made steady progress this semester and we are pleased with her development thus far. Ultimately, if she can keep adding levels to her tennis she will have a lot of success this season and beyond."

The Dallas, Texas, native will compete in the 32-player singles tournament, opening action against Lucile Pothier of Abilene Christian at 11:15 a.m. (CT) Thursday.

Shankle will also pair up with Baylor men’s tennis player Max Tchoutakian in the 32-team mixed doubles bracket. The Baylor duo begins doubles play at 10 a.m. on the same day against Claudia Yanes Garcia of Austin Peay and Andrew Watson of Memphis.

Pepperdine will host opening rounds of weekend action at Ralphs-Strauss Tennis Center, while semifinal and championship matches will be held at the Malibu Racquet Club.

A live stream is of four courts at Pepperdine on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and two courts at Malibu Racquet Club on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are available for a fee at www.flotennis.com. Complete brackets, links to live results, and schedule information are available at www.itatennis.com.

Volleyball

  • There are two videos for volleyball’s loss to Texas yesterday. The first video is the preview video that did not get published in time to make yesterday’s DBR and the second is a highlight video from the game.

  • Baylor volleyball (15-6, 3-2 Big 12) dropped a four-set loss to No. 4 Texas (14-2, 6-0 Big 12), 25-21, 17-25, 17-25, 18-25, Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The first-set victory snapped a nine-set losing streak to the Longhorns, dating back to Nov. 19, 2014 where the Bears also won the opening set at home.

Baylor jumped out fast in the opening frame, taking a 4-1 lead. An ace by senior Alex Banisterfollowed by a kill from redshirt junior Katie Staiger gave BU the 20-18 lead. Staiger's 10 kills helped the Bears earn the 25-21 first-set victory.

The Bears trailed early in set two, limited by seven hitting errors. Staiger snapped a 4-0 UT run to pull within five, 15-10. However, a late ace by junior Jana Brusek wasn't enough as the Bears dropped set two, 25-17.

The Bears recorded their first block of the match in set three, trailing 17-13. BU couldn't overcome a .393 UT attack effort in the third frame for the 25-17 loss.

BU stayed close to the Longhorns in set four, and a kill by sophomore Aniah Philo tied up the match at 13-13 to force a UT timeout. A late BU block gave the Bears a 17-16 lead, but it wasn't enough as Baylor dropped the final set 25-18.

"They have a lot of firepower. We knew we had to play great defense to slow them down. I thought it was going to be more a matter of if our offense could keep up. In all four sets, in the first 75 percent we'd get sideouts and trade points back and forth. In the first, we took a late push and managed to pull it out in the end. In the next three, we'd go back and forth, but they managed to pull it out in the end." --Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre.

Baseball

Baylor baseball announced its 2017 schedule yesterday, featuring 54 overall games and 32 at home. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The Bears will face 10 2016 NCAA Tournament teams and their 25 opponents combined for an 827-636-3 (.565) record last season.

Head coach Steve Rodriguez’s second season at the helm also features five teams that won either their conference regular season or postseason titles and 17 teams that finished with a .500 record or better in 2016.

BU starts 2017 by playing eight of its first nine games at home, including the first four. Furthermore, 20 of the Bears’ first 26 games are at Baylor Ballpark and BU doesn’t leave the state of Texas in its first 26 games – the Bears have just nine games outside of Texas all season. Conversely, 16 of Baylor’s final 28 contests are on the road.

The season opener is Friday, Feb. 17 at 6:35 p.m. CT as the Bears begin a three-game series at Baylor Ballpark against Niagara. Following a Feb. 20 home game vs. Nevada, BU has its first road game on Feb. 22 at Texas State before returning home to face South Alabama (NCAA Regional) in a three-game series Feb. 24-26 and Arkansas-Pine Bluff Feb. 28.

The Bears then head to Houston for the 2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park from March 3-5. BU will face Ole Miss (NCAA Regionals), LSU (NCAA Super Regional) and Texas A&M (conference champion, NCAA Super Regional), respectively.

After a March 7 game at Sam Houston State (conference champion, NCAA Regional), Baylor hosts LIU Brooklyn March 8 and Houston March 10-12. Following a March 15 tilt at Dallas Baptist (conference champion, NCAA Regional) the Bears have a season-long, eight-game home stand that includes games vs. West Virginia March 17-19 for the Big 12 opening series, Dallas Baptist March 21, Oklahoma March 24-26 and UTSA March 28.

Baylor’s first trip outside of Texas comes March 31-April 2 at Washington (NCAA Regional). BU stays on the road after a quick home game vs. Lamar April 5 to face Texas Tech April 7-9 in its first Big 12 road series.

BU then has its second longest home stand of the season – a five-game run. The Bears will host Sam Houston State April 11, Texas April 13-15 and Stephen F. Austin April 18.

The Bears finish the regular season with a road series at TCU (conference champion, College World Series) April 21-23, home game vs. Texas State April 25, road series at Kansas April 28-30, home games against Prairie View A&M May 9-10, road series at Oklahoma State (College World Series) May 12-14, road game at UTSA May 16 and home series vs. Kansas State May 18-20 to end Big 12 regular season play.

The Big 12 Championship will be held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark from May 24-28. NCAA Regionals will be held June 2-4, Super Regionals June 9-11, and the College World Series will take place June 17-28 in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Bears began fall practices on Saturday, Oct. 8 and return 17 players while welcoming 19 newcomers for the 2017 campaign. Stay current on the program by following @BaylorBaseball on Twitter.

Football

“Finish strong” has been an oft-repeated mantra around the Baylor football program for the past several years. Players regularly slap a sign adorned with those words on their way to the practice field.

When you ask them about it though, Baylor’s players are blissfully unaware of the effectiveness of their finishing power. When confronted with the statistic that they’ve outscored their opponents 45-0 in the fourth quarter this season, the Bears reacted with stunned surprise.

“I didn’t know that fact,” offensive lineman Patrick Lawrence said. “That’s a good one to hear.”

“Really? I haven’t even thought about it,” cornerback Ryan Reid said. “I guess that just shows how well we can finish as a defense.”

Baylor is one of just two teams in the country that has yet to allow a point in the fourth quarter, along with second-ranked and fellow unbeaten Ohio State. The Bears have needed that type of end-of-game stinginess the past couple of games, in close wins over Big 12 foes Oklahoma State and Iowa State.

Meet Bruiser

  • First Row: Deanna S, Marie A, Donald M
  • Second Row: John H, Colby H, Garrett S, Ashton H

The Bear tradition began when Baylor chose the Bear instead of the ever popular Bookworm to represent the school as its official mascot in 1914. The start of Baylor's 1981-1982 basketball season showcased the bear costume that we have come to know and love today as Bruiser the Bear. Bruiser has brought school spirit to an all time high, entertaining Baylor fans young and old across the state of Texas and the country!

  • Practices: The mascots typically practice twice a week in the evenings.
  • Workouts: To help ensure that spirit squad members remain healthy mentally/physically as well as help prevent injuries, the squad lifts weights and works out with two certified athletic trainers twice a week in the new Simpson Athletic Building.

Homecoming

Baylor Homecoming organizers hope good weather greets the tens of thousands of former Baylor University students and families returning to Waco this weekend.Last year, heavy rains forced some activities indoors and canceled the traditional parade for the first time in decades, grounding the planned debut of several balloons.

Fair weather looks likely this year, and those attending this year’s parade Saturday morning may find themselves looking up in the sky as well as down the street. The parade, which starts at Eighth Street and Austin Avenue at 8 a.m., will feature five balloons representing a Baylor Line jersey, the Bear Pit and Bull Pen student spirit groups, Dr Pepper Hour and Make-A-Wish Foundation, the latter the philanthropy of the sorority Chi Omega.

Nine floats also will populate this year’s parade in addition to the dozens of ceremonial cars, Baylor organizations and the Golden Wave Marching Band.