By Ben Everett | Sports Editor
No. 16-ranked Baylor volleyball swept Texas State 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-17) Saturday morning at the Ferrell Center to remain undefeated for the season.
The win marked Ryan McGuyre’s 400th win as head coach. McGuyre, reflecting on his time at Baylor, said his greatest joy in life is being able to coach at a school that supports him so much.
“I feel so blessed to be at such a great university,” McGuyre said. “There’s literally hundreds of people pouring into the Baylor volleyball program to make it a great experience and my joy comes from making it a great experience for the girls. It’s so reassuring to be at a place where I feel loved.”
The Bears (2-0) and Bobcats (0-2) traded points early in the first set. Two kills from Texas State freshman middle blocker Jillian Slaughter put the Bobcats up 5-3, but the Baylor front line began to assert their dominance.
Fanning, Pressley and senior outside hitter Aniah Philo attacked the net with ferocity to combine for eight total points and guide the Bears to a 15-10 lead at the media timeout.
Attack errors plagued the Bobcats in the first set. Seven errors piled up to contribute to a 23-18 lead for the Bears as the first set came to a close. Texas State mounted a 3-0 run after a timeout, making the score 23-21, but the Bears closed out the set with a kill each – from junior middle blocker Nicole Thomas and Philo, to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Texas State flexed their stout defense to start the second set, forcing Baylor into three straight attack errors, to take a 6-2 lead.
Three straight kills by Fanning helped close the gap, but Texas State freshman outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald notched her third and fourth kills of the match to make it 14-13 Bobcats.
Pressley recorded her first kill of the set to tie it 14-14 and continued her dominant play down the stretch. Tied at 20, Pressley recorded every point the rest of the way for Baylor, trading kills back and forth with Fitzgerald as the Bears pulled out a thrilling 26-24 win to take a 2-0 lead.
Pressley said the Bears had a refined mindset going into the second set, given how poorly the second set against LSU on Friday night had played out.
“We knew that we had to step it up and we didn’t want to have a repeat from yesterday’s match against LSU. We lost that second set 25-13. We knew [we] had to play smart and keep it simple so we could get it together and get this win.”
Sloppy play came back to bite the Bobcats in the third set as Baylor capitalized on six early errors to take a 17-13 lead into the media timeout.
Sophomore defensive specialist Taylor Marburger made her first appearance of the game in the third set and recorded a service ace to put the Bears up 21-15 and prompt Texas State to call a timeout.
Fittingly, the Bears clinched match point on a service error by Texas State, taking the last set 25-17.
Pressley recorded a game-high 20 kills on a 42.1 hit percentage. Fanning added 11 kills and four blocks for the Bears. The Bobcats finished with 17 errors and hit just 20.9 percent for the match.
The win marked the second in two days for the Bears, and they still have another coming up tonight. Fanning said the tough schedule can be a grind, but it’s something each player on the team is accustomed to.
“It’s a grind for sure,” Fanning said. “Competing with each of my teammates is truly just a joy to be out there. [The] adrenaline has definitely kicked in, but it’s just a grind that I really do enjoy.”
Baylor looks to sweep the weekend as they face Marquette at 7 p.m. tonight at the Ferrell Center.