By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer
After a strong performance this past weekend, Baylor volleyball sophomore outside hitter Yossiana Pressley was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for the sixth time in her career, and is the second Baylor player to be given an award from the conference this season.
Junior middle blocker Shelly Fanning was the first Bear this season to be given a Big 12 honor after being named the Big 12 Co-Offensive Player of the week on Aug. 27.
The award is Pressley’s first of the season, but Pressley has program-leading 10 career weekly honors from the Big 12 Conference. In the 2017 season, Pressley set a single-season record for Baylor with five Offensive Player of the Week honors and four Freshman of the Week awards.
Pressley and the Bears took on No. 2 Wisconsin Friday night and both the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Rice on Saturday in the Baylor Classic. In the matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers, the Bears pulled off a victory for their fifth win of the season. Pressley had almost half of the Bears’ 66 kills, leading both Wisconsin and Baylor with 32 kills for the night. Those 32 kills were a career high for Pressley as she averaged eight kills per frame over the night and ended the match with a .313 hitting efficiency.
Pressley said she would not have been able to do as well as she did without the help she had from her teammates. Not only was the team playing well as a whole, but the players were also interacting well with each other to help ensure success.
“My teammates were communicating with me: Hannah [Lockin’s] great sets and just finding the rhythm,” Pressley said. “Lately [Hannah and I] haven’t been in rhythm like that, but tonight she was on fire.”
After the Bears took down the Badgers, head coach Ryan McGuyre said he was expecting the best from his team and for them to show up against one of the best teams in the nation.
“Champions are at their best when their best is expected,” McGuyre said. “I thought the girls did a good job taking advantage of those opportunities.”
The next morning as Baylor took on the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Pressley led both teams yet again with 29 kills out of the Bears’ 67. Later on Saturday against Rice, Pressley led in both kills and aces for the Bears with 15 and one, respectively, and tied for second in blocks with four.
Over the span of the three matches, Pressley ended up averaging 5.85 kills per set and 6.27 points per set in a 2-1 weekend for the Bears. After the three matchups in the Baylor Classic, Pressley received the tournament’s highest scorer award.
No. 18 Baylor heads on the road for its final non-conference tournament. The Bears will take on UTSA Friday and Virginia Tech Saturday, both at noon at the Convocation Center in San Antonio.