Volleyball earning national respect, cracks Top 25

The volleyball team gathers for a pre-game cheer prior to a Sept. 27 match with UC-Santa Barbara. The Bears have compiled a 15-4 record thus far and cracked the American Volleyball Coach's Association Top 25 for the first time since 2009 on Monday. William Barksdale | Multimedia Journalist

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

For the first time since 2009, Baylor volleyball cracked the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 poll.

After straight set wins over then No. 20 Iowa State on Wednesday and West Virginia on Saturday, the Bears enter the week at No. 25.

With its inception into the polls, Baylor is now the fourth Big 12 school currently ranked, joining No. 5 Texas, No. 9 Kansas and No. 20 Iowa State.

For Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre, the ranking is a reflection of the team’s strong work ethic and their desire to give back to the Baylor community.

“The ranking is a small but beautiful by-product of our desire to seek growth in ourselves and each other every day,” McGuyre said. “We desire to reflect Baylor Volleyball and the gifts we have blessed with brightly to the Baylor family and the Waco community we love.”

Not only did Baylor debut in the rankings, the Bears also reached a program record ranking in the rating percentage index (RPI), a tool that measures a team’s wins and losses and its strength of schedule.

The Bears have eight wins this season over teams ranked in the top 100, including No. 18 Iowa State, No. 19 BYU, No. 31 Washington State, No. 40 LSU, No. 49 TCU, No. 53 West Virginia, No. 95 Texas State and No. 96 Texas Tech.

Baylor (15-4, 5-1) currently sits third in the conference behind both Kansas and Texas, who have yet to drop a conference game.

Although Baylor is enjoying success, McGuyre said that this team still has a lot more they want to accomplish.

“The season is still young, and with strong support from our university and fans I am excited about where we can finish,” McGuyre said.

The Bears have a midweek bye before taking on Kansas State at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ahearn Fieldhouse in Manhattan, Kan.