Jordan Smith | Sports Writer
Baylor volleyball is set to face off against its biggest in-state rival, Texas Christian University, at 6 p.m. today at the Ferrell Center.
The Bears (14-5, 2-1) are looking to come out strong after their recent defeat against No. 8-ranked Kansas on Saturday, 3-1.
TCU (10-4, 3-1) is coming off of a 3-2 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners and is looking to keep the momentum going, having won five of their last seven matches.
Junior outside hitter Katie Staiger is excited for this matchup against TCU because it is such a huge rival, but she didn’t forget to mention how much this is setting a different tone in the locker room and on the court.
“Every Big 12 game we get real excited about, but I think TCU is definitely one that everyone on the team kind of … has the dog in the fight; but everyone seems to know someone on TCU or for some reason really want to beat them. We’re excited about it,” Staiger said.
Although Baylor leads the all-time series 10-6, the Bears are looking for their first win against the Horned Frogs since 2014. The most recent loss came last season where the Bears were swept, 18-25, 19-25, 23-25.
Head coach Ryan McGuyre said the Bears are led by Staiger, whose humility goes beyond the court.
“It’s a beautiful thing,” McGuyre said. “Her instinct is deferred to the others on the team: First to encourage, first to make sure that everyone is getting their fair shake of everything. She has both a protective spirit and just a genuine loving spirit. We want to be quick, we want to be violent, but there is nothing violent about Katie. She hits with great force, but that’s a word we use sometimes to describe the impact we can make hitting the ball violently, but it has nothing to with her character and who she is.”
Although the loss on Saturday ended the Bears’ 10-game win streak, Staiger said she still feels like there has been no loss in momentum.
“Obviously the loss wasn’t good for us, but I think we are coming off of it knowing if we are playing our best, if we are playing the way we should be, that it is a game that we can win and should have won,” Staiger said. “So, kind of taking that into these other teams knowing that, if we are playing our best, that any game could be ours.”
The Bears look to get back to their winning ways at 6 p.m. today at the Ferrell Center. The match will be aired nationally on ESPNU and on the WatchESPN app.