By Krista Pirtle
Despite losing its last three conference matchups, the Baylor volleyball team received a bid to the NCAA tournament, the fourth ever for the program.
“We were pretty confident, having four top-50 wins, of getting in,” head coach Jim Barnes said. “This team has worked so hard all season and the girls are just very enthusiastic. We are excited to represent Baylor University, and we fought hard to get to this point. Anyone can win in this tournament and we are going to go give our best shot.”
Baylor is one of seven teams from the Big 12 to earn a bid, including national seeds No. 1 Texas, No. 4 Iowa State and No. 16 Texas A&M. Each of those three teams will host the first and second rounds. Kansas State, Oklahoma and Missouri each earned bids as well.
On the season, the Bears split matches with the latter three Big 12 teams.
Baylor travels to California to face Michigan in the first round.
Michigan is 20-12 and tied for eighth in the Big Ten Conference.
It was also ranked 22nd in the most recent release of the AVCA Coaches Poll on Nov. 21.
“We are excited to be in the tournament and to be matched up with Michigan,” Barnes said. “It is a great opportunity for us to go back out to California, where we had a lot of success in ’09.”
Friday’s winner of the Baylor/Michigan will face the winner of the Stanford/Sacred Heart match in the second round at 9 p.m. on Dec. 3.