Volleyball dominates Baylor Invitational

Junior outside hitter Gia Milana looks for the opening at the net against two Texas State defenders on Saturday. The Bears swept the Baylor Invitational field with wins over LSU, Texas State and Marquette. Photo credit: Jason Pedreros | Multimedia Journalist

By Francesca Maietta | Reporter

Baylor volleyball moved to 3-0 in the season after their 3-1 win against the Marquette Golden Eagles Saturday night at the Ferrell Center.

In the first set, redshirt junior middle blocker Shelly Fanning’s kill prompted Marquette to call for a timeout with Baylor in the lead, 5-1. The two teams went back and forth, with each team taking the lead by a point or two, and the other quickly catching back up to a tie. The Bears took the win for the first set with an end score of 33-31.

Halfway through the second set, the teams were tied at 12, but a 3-0 run capped off by a service ace gave Marquette a three-point lead. The second set was another back-and-forth game that ended with redshirt senior middle hitter Jenna Rosenthal’s ace sealing the Golden Eagles’ win, 27-25.

Baylor fell behind in the opening of the third set and called for a timeout to regroup. Sophomore outside hitter Yossiana Pressley sped things back up and brought the Bears back by attacking the net, and a kill by senior outside hitter Aniah Philo put them back in the lead. Baylor kept an eight-point advantage down the stretch to win 25-17 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, Baylor took the lead with a block by freshman middle blocker Sydney Sacra, forcing the Golden Eagles to call a timeout. Marquette had three back-to-back errors, which kept Baylor in the lead.

With the Bears just one point away from a win, Marquette went on a 3-0 run, putting the score at 24-21 in favor of the Bears, which called for a Baylor timeout. The Bears made the winning point in the last play, earning them the match. The final score was 25-22, winning the Bears the tournament title.

The Bears earned their third win in two days and helped head coach Ryan McGuyre to his 401st win as head coach.

McGuyre said he was pleased with his team’s play as a whole, as they flexed their depth.

“At some point when we want to win it all, so we’ve got to have production at every single position, every single day, or at certain times through the tournament,” McGuyre said. “It was great to see Aniah hit the way she did. We know Shelly’s been on fire this whole tournament, really. Gia (Milana) had some really key swings for us tonight, which was really good.”

Junior setter Hannah Fluegel set a new career high with 25 assists, beating her previous best of 17. On top of their victory, Fanning was awarded as Best Attacker and Pressley as Highest Scorer and the Tournament MVP.

Golden Eagles’ junior outside hitter Allie Barber led her team with 19 kills and senior outside hitter Anna Haak was right behind her with 16 kills and 16 digs, while Rosenthal added 10 kills.

The Bears will be taking on North Texas at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28th at the Ferrell Center.