Volleyball hits the road

Junior outside hitter Katie Staiger prepared to return the serve in route to beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 3-1 last Saturday at the Ferrell Center. Photo Credit: Tim Hong | Lariat Photographer

By: Meghan Mitchell | Sports Editor

The Baylor volleyball team is back on track after winning three strait matches.

The Lady Bears’ latest victory came on the road against Texas State, and although the Lady Bears trailed early, they clawed their way back to take the match 3-1.

“I think we showed good composure in a hostile environment. We were slow to make adjustments in the slow start in the second set, but we made good adjustments down the stretch,” said head coach Ryan McGuyre in a post-game interview. “The defense started getting more comfortable picking up the heat up front. Late in the match, I think our serves got tougher and our passes were more precise. That gave us more swings in the last two sets and allowed us to end some rallies terminating the ball instead of waiting to end them on their errors.”

With a tough win under their belts, the Lady Bears (3-1) look to continue with the momentum as they head into a series of games on the road.

“The first loss is discouraging. You have to think about it, release it and jump into the next day. We know adversity hit us unexpectedly in a lot of different areas,” McGuyre said. “The character of this team is amazing … how they rely upon one another, how they strengthen one another; they are able to multiply the job.

Their first stop will be in Santa Barbara, Calif., where they will compete in the Thunderdome Classic against Colorado State; University of California; Santa Barbara; and California State University, Bakersfield.

With senior middle hitter Tola Itiola and sophomore middle hitter Shelling Fanning out due to injury, the Lady Bears have turned to junior outside hitter Katie Staiger to take the reins of the team.

“I have definitely been getting a lot of sets and chances to put the ball away. We kind of have things going from other directions. It’s kind of spread out, but I have definitely been getting the ball a lot,” Staiger said. “It all starts with the passing, and we are passing so well right now. [Senior setter] Morgan is setting so well right now. I’m definitely getting more attempts than I have had in the past, so it just comes down to putting the ball away.”

The Lady Bears first match starts 10 a.m. Friday at the UC Santa Barbara Events Center against Colorado State.

“They are big and physical,” McGuyre said. “They have a good system, and they dominated their previous three matches. It is definitely going to be a good match. We played them last year, so it is going to be a good test to see where we are this early in the season.”