Baylor Volleyball looks to win its Big 12 home opener at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ferrell Center against the Texas Tech Raiders.
“We need to stay focused on the disciplines we’ve been doing in practice.” – Freshman outside hitter Katie Staiger
The Bears have an 11-3 overall record, but are 0-1 in conference play after being swept by Kansas State on Saturday.
The Bears are two spots behind the Red Raiders at No. 6 in the Big 12, but the Bears are determined to bounce back strong after their last match. Although the Bears trail the Red Raiders overall, they have won four of the last five meetings, and plan on getting the momentum going back their way.
“We need to stay focused on the disciplines we’ve been doing in practice,” said freshman outside hitter Katie Staiger. “We weren’t as focused on that in the game against K-State. Going into this home opener, if we focus on those things we will be ready to go.”
Going back to the game against Kansas State, head coach Ryan McGuyre said there are things that must be changed from last Saturday to be prepared against Texas Tech.
“Defense needs to travel on the road with you and keep you in matches,” McGuyre said. “It starts with the serve. It’s something we’ve been emphasizing this year. We need to make sure we get better in all areas, but specifically in serving and defense.”
Texas Tech has showed great skill on the floor defensively in the past years and has made it difficult for opponents to put balls away, but backing down isn’t an option, said sophomore libero Jana Brusek.
“I have a lot of trust in my offense,” Brusek said. “Regardless of who we play, it’s still on us to play as a team. It’s motivation that the other team is going to be playing as hard as we are defensively. Regardless of their scheme, we are going to play our game, our defense.”
Brusek said the Bears’ mentality needs to stay accurate and focused regardless of who they are playing or the circumstances they find themselves in.
“We’ve been taught a lot that there is one way to play,” Brusek said. “So regardless who we are playing, regardless if it’s pre-season, in-season or post-season, the focus is on us, on how we are playing as a team and not on our opponent or how many fans that they have.”
The Bears know that playing at home gives a different kind of motivation to perform well, McGuyre said.
“You practice, you train, but show time is the match,” McGuyre said. “I want this to be the greatest volleyball experience for these athletes. For them to play at home and showcase their gifts, talents and abilities and fun, and do it with their teammates, is always exciting.”
“If we play the way we’ve been practicing, we will be ready,” Staiger said.