Battling injuries, Baylor volleyball hits the road to face West Virginia

Baylor junior outside hitter Gia Milana high-points the ball on Wednesday against TCU. The Bears face West Virginia at 12 p.m. Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va. Jason Pedreros | Multimedia Journalist

By Francesca Maietta | Reporter

Baylor volleyball will face the West Virginia Mountaineers at 12 p.m. Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va.

Nineteen games into the season, the Bears have 13 wins under their belt thus far. The Bears are currently ranked No. 24, while West Virginia is not ranked and only has nine wins.

The Bears are currently going through some sudden changes as sophomore outside hitter Yossiana Pressley and senior outside hitter Aniah Philo are currently sitting out due to injuries. Head coach Ryan McGuyre said another win will take some careful planning.

“I think we are back to the drawing board again,” McGuyre said. “We got to take a look at what was helping us and what was hurting us as well. We got to get some healthy bodies out there and figure out how we can move them into the match in the right way.”

Baylor notched its third straight win over TCU on Wednesday night. The Bears, due to injuries, started junior middle blocker Jaelyn Jackson and freshman defensive specialist Shanel Bramschreiber for the first time this season. Junior middle blocker Shelly Fanning matched her career high with 18 kills on .444 hitting efficiency. Freshman opposite Marieke Van Der Mark hit seven kills while junior outside hitter Gia Milana recorded six kills and sophomore setter Hannah Lockin had a team high 35 assists. The Bears now lead TCU in the all-time series, 14-7, and 8-2 in Waco, and are now 20-9 as a ranked team under McGuyre.

Fanning said she is taking it day by day and has faith in how it will all play out.

“One match at a time,” Fanning said. “I definitely have been focused on beating TCU so I haven’t really scouted [West Virginia] much yet, but I know that we will have to focus on playing our game the best we can and the rest will take care of itself.”

After their win against TCU, McGuyre said West Virginia now has more footage to scout out the Bears.

“I think TCU was at a disadvantage,” McGuyre said. “They didn’t know what was coming at them, there’s no film on it. So I think West Virginia now knows what Jaelyn [Jackson] can do, what Bri Coleman can do, what Braya [Hunt] can do and what [sophomore defensive specialist Taylor Marburger] can do, so with the information they have we’re going to have to see what they’re going to do with it.”

West Virginia defeated George Washington University 3-0 on Tuesday night that earned them an 8-5 mark in non-conference play. They hit a season-high .306 with 36 kills and 10 team blocks. The Mountaineers are 1-4 in Big 12 Conference play.