Baylor volleyball took second place at the Dayton Invitational in Dayton, Ohio over the weekend. The Bears are on a roll, placing second or higher in all three tournaments in which they have competed, including a first-place finish in the Bear Invitational.
The Bears won their first match of the weeked against the tournament host, University of Dayton, in a five-set battle. The Bears lost their second match to Cleveland State in four sets, snapping the team’s six-game winning streak. Baylor was able to bounce back in its next match though. The Bears cruised to a four-set win over Eastern Illinois to clinch second place.
Entering the tournament, head coach Ryan McGuyre had been preaching consistency to his team. In the first match, the Bears got off to a slow start by losing the first set 15-25 against Dayton. From that point on, Baylor found a rhythm and consistency to win three of the next four sets to take the match (25-22, 25-19, 23-25, 15-12).
Senior outside hitter Andie Malloy finished the match with a double-double (14 kills and 19 digs). Sophomore outside hitter Katie Staiger also had an impressive match as she ended with a team-high 18 kills.
McGuyre said he was pleased with the way the Bears battled in their comeback win against Dayton.
“I was really proud of the girls [for] weathering the storm of the first set,” McGuyre said. “Things didn’t go the way we wanted them to [in the first set], but we remained calm. We kept trust in our training and we look forward to those fifth sets. We’ve been successful in them. We just needed to be consistent.”
Against Cleveland State, the Bears carried the momentum of a six-game winning streak. The Bears won the first set handily. Baylor’s fortune would change, however, as Cleveland State would go on to win the next three sets and stop the Bears from extending their winning streak to seven games.
McGuyre’s side regrouped after the loss and rebounded with an emphatic four-set win over Eastern Illinois (26-24, 18-25, 25-19, 25-13). Baylor dominated the final set of the match as they posted a .448 hitting percentage. With the win, the Bears earned second place with a set differential selected as the tiebreaker.
Freshman middle hitter Shelly Fanning helped lead the way for the Bears in the final match as she had a team-high 16 kills against the Panthers.
The Bears were well represented on the all-tournament team, with freshman middle hitter Shelly Fanning and Staiger both earning honors.
The Bears will play in a fourth and final regular season tournament, hosting the Baylor Classic. The Bears’ tournament begins against Stephen F. Austin University at 7 p.m. Friday in the Ferrell Center.
The Bears begin conference play Sept. 26 at Kansas State.