Volleyball earns hard-fought win over North Texas

Sophomore outside hitter Yossiana Pressley digs the ball for the Bears against North Texas on Tuesday. Pressley finished with 15 kills in a 3-1 win for Baylor to move them to 4-0 on the season. Photo credit: Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor

By Francesca Maietta | Reporter

Baylor volleyball remains undefeated on the season after their 3-1 victory against the University of North Texas Tuesday night at the Ferrell Center.

The Bears took the lead in the first set with senior outside hitter Aniah Philo’s kill earning them their fifth point in just a few minutes, which called for a UNT timeout at 5-0. UNT took their second and final timeout after sophomore outside hitter Yossiana Pressley collected her fifth kill of the set, with a score of 15-8 in favor of the Bears. Philo hit the kill that earned them the set with a final score of 25-17 in which the Bears hit .400.

UNT took the lead in the second set, but Pressley brought the Bears back up with a few kills to cut the lead to 3-2. The Bears were down after three early attack errors, which caused them to call for a timeout when UNT’s lead ballooned to 8-3.

The Bears took their final timeout of the set after the “Mean Green” took a seven-point advantage, putting the score at 20-13. Junior defensive specialist Tara Wulf kept the set alive with an ace, which caused UNT to call a timeout at 19-24. The Bears went on a 4-0 run before UNT closed out the set with a kill from junior defensive specialist Olivia Petnicki, which earned the Eagles the set with a final score of 21-25.

In the third set, a block by redshirt junior middle blocker Shelly Fanning and senior opposite Ashley Fritcher put the Bears up by four. The Mean Green quickly caught up, but the score remained close for the majority of the set. UNT took their last timeout of the set with Baylor leading 14-10. Tied at 22, the Bears went on a 3-0 run with junior outside hitter Gia Milana earning the Bears the set with a kill.

In the fourth set, UNT freshman middle blocker/outside hitter Rhett Robinson put the Eagles in the lead with a kill at 5-2. Struggling offensively and hitting -.188, Baylor called for a timeout. UNT led by four points, until Baylor closed that gap by attacking the net. A kill from Philo put Baylor back on top at 20-16 in favor of the Bears, and they never looked back, winning the set 25-18.

In the 3-1 win for the Bears, Philo set a new career-high with 19 kills.

Fanning said both herself and the team as a whole have areas to improve on after a tough match.

“I think, personally, being diverse in my shots and just blocking, obviously — we can get better at blocking,” Fanning said. “We have so much to improve on and this match definitely proved that.”

Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre said the Bears are capable of much more than what they showed on Tuesday.

“We’re definitely capable of exceeding some expectations and doing some great things,” McGuyre said. “We just want to be the best versions of ourselves, and tonight we didn’t do that, so it slaps us around a little bit and we realize.”

The Bears will take on San Diego at 7 p.m. PST on Saturday in San Diego, Calif.