In full swing: Baylor volleyball crushes West Virginia

Freshman middle hitter Jordan Vail attempts a spike during a Big 12 conference match against Kansas on Oct. 31 at the Ferrell Center. Photo credit: Sarah Pyo

Baylor volleyball had no trouble rolling past the West Virginia Mountaineers in three sets (25-19, 25-20, 25-20) on Saturday at the Ferrell Center, thanks to the effort from senior middle hitter Adrien Richburg.

She was a force to be reckoned with all night, as she racked up a match-high six blocks. The performance over the weekend gave Richburg 16 blocks in her last two games.

Richburg’s 16 total blocks led the Big 12 by a wide margin, with the 10 blocks against Texas Tech matching the third-best, single-match blocking effort of the season in the Big 12.

For her recent efforts, Fanning won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award Monday. It is the first time in her collegiate career that she has won the award.

“It’s just a product of her determination and hard work from the beginning of the year,” said head coach Ryan McGuyre. “For her to be able do that from the middle, there’s a sense of relentlessness that’s required. She’s shown that she’s not afraid to put in that hard work and you’re seeing the result with performances like this.”

After a stretch with multiple injuries to the Baylor depth, the senior middle hitter has stepped in to a bigger role, answering the call with emphatic and consistent play, both offensively and defensively.

The Bears struggled to find a rhythm early in the game Saturday and were unable to hit the mark throughout the match.

Despite a spotty attacking effort by Baylor, the defense helped limit West Virginia to a .041 attacking percentage (lowest attacking percentage of any Baylor opponent this season), while recording 11 blocks as a team.

Led by the production from Richburg, the Bears were able to take the first and second sets, while cruising to a 2-0 match lead.

The Mountaineers only held the lead twice in the third set, but failed to take advantage of late opportunities.

Baylor made quick work of West Virginia’s miscues and completed the season sweep.

With the victory, the Bears move to 16-9 (4-7 Big 12) for the season, while the Mountaineers fall to 5-18 (0-10 Big 12).

Although Baylor was unable to find its regular flow on offense, senior outside hitter Andie Malloy had no problem producing for the Bears.

She was the most effective attacker for either squad, carrying a match-high in kills (11), and adding 13 digs to post her second-consecutive double-double.

The West Virginia game marked Malloy’s 27th double-double of her career and her eighth of the season.

The win over the Mountaineers gave Baylor the most home wins in a season since 2011 (9).

Baylor eyes revenge in its next game against TCU at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ferrell Center.