Volleyball sweeps its way through Lubbock

Red shirt denior outside hitter Katie Staiger prepares to spike the ball against Texas Tech in a September match. Will Barksdale | Multimedia Journalist

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

No. 24-ranked Baylor volleyball picked up a road win against Texas Tech Wednesday in three sets, 25-23, 25-9, 25-16.

The Bears’ (17-5, 7-2) offense dominated the Red Raiders (13-9, 2-7) on Wednesday night to maintain third place in the Big 12 Conference standings.

Baylor put up a .452 hitting percentage, good for second best on the season.

Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre said junior outside hitter Aniah Philo‘s defense was the key to the win.

“Good overall team effort,” McGuyre said. “What stood out to me was Aniah’s defense. Her touches were so clean. Every time she dug a ball we got a kill off of it.”

Senior outside hitter Katie Staiger did not play in the game in order to rest for the weekend matchup against Oklahoma. Junior outside hitter Ashley Fritcher started in Staiger’s place and recorded seven kills and two blocks.

Philo converted on a block in the first set to give the Bears a 15-12 lead heading into the first media timeout.

The Red Raiders battled back, tying the opening set at 20-20 before the Bears pulled away and took a 1-0 lead on a kill from senior middle hitter Camryn Freiberg.

In the second set, Baylor jumped out to a 9-3 lead to force a Texas Tech timeout. The Bears went on a 12-0 run behind services from senior libero Jana Brusek to clinch the second set in dominated fashion, 25-9, to take a 2-0 lead.

McGuyre said everyone was excited to see Brusek, who has dealt with an injured shoulder this season, be so successful in serving.

“We’re just excited for Jana,” McGuyre said. “She’s had some shoulder issues so we’ve had to limit her reps serving, but she’s determined to be the most effective server in conference this year.

Philo registered her seventh kill of the game off a set from freshman setter Hannah Lockin to give the Bears a 15-10 lead at the media timeout of the third set as they looked to close out the Red Raiders.

A ball-handling error on the service by Texas Tech junior setter Kyndal Cowan got the Bears the 25-16 win in the third set to finish the match.

Every Baylor player who recorded an attempt hit over .300, led by sophomore middle hitter Shelly Fanning who hit .692 with nine kills and four blocks.

Freshman outside hitter Yossianna Pressley led the team in kills with 14 while also adding nine digs in the win.

Pressley said the team is confident heading into the next match.

“We know what we are capable of,” Pressley said. “We know we have so many players who can do so much. So we’re definitely confident.”

The Bears continue their road trip with a matchup against Oklahoma at 2 p.m. Saturday in Norman, Okla.

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