Jordan Smith | Sports Writer
The Baylor volleyball squad is getting ready to face off in its second Big 12 match against in-state rival Texas Tech University. This rivalry has been one where Baylor has shown its recent talent surge over the years, winning eight of the last 10 meetings.
The Bears (13-4, 1-0) are coming off of a 3-0 shutout against the Kansas State Wildcats on Sunday look to keep the momentum going as they head into the match-up against the Red Raiders.
Although the Bears have been plagued with injuries, head coach Ryan McGuyre said he has noticed how much the team has progressed.
“They are tough, and it just means that God is doing some great things with this team. You know, I’ve said it before that there is something special with them and the plans that I had are not being put in place. All of those injured players I expected to be out there playing on the court,” McGuyre said. “So, as a result we are really benefiting from the qualities that these girls had that I didn’t even foresee early on and so we really had to grind and find ways to score points,” McGuyre said.
The Red Raiders (10-7, 0-2) are coming off a loss at home Saturday nigh to West Virginia, 0-3, and look to get back on track as they head to Waco.
The Red Raiders are led by senior middle blocker Lauren Douglass who is in the top 30 nationally with a .398 hitting percentage and 72 total blocks this season. The Bears will also have to get past sophomore libero Reyn Akiu who ranks 14th in the nation with 304 total digs.
While the Red Raiders present a challenge on both on defense and offense, junior outside hitter Katie Staiger credits her entire team for the success that they have had this year as they have won nine straight matches.
“I think we have all been just putting in a lot of work at practice. I’ve said this before, but I am always the third person who touches the ball,” Staiger said. So the defense is playing so good right now, and the setters are doing great, so kind of the whole team is in a rhythm. It gives me a lot of opportunities.”
Junior middle hitter Camryn Freiberg has enjoyed the recent success that the team has had ever since their very close defeat against Florida State on Sept. 8.
“I think we finally just have found our rhythm, and we are really comfortable with who is on the court,” Freiburg said. “We finally know who is going to be starting pretty much each day, and we have just been working so hard in practice and we are getting the same efforts in practice that we are getting in games, and really we are just trying to get one degree better each game and each practice and playing for an audience of one. So that is what is keeping us consistent,” Freiberg said.
Baylor, in its nine-match winning streak, has won six times in a shutout. The Bears look to continue their streak 7 p.m. today at the Ferrell Center.