By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor
No. 20 Baylor volleyball went for back-to-back sweeps this weekend in the Husker Invitational after defeating No. 18 Creighton 25-20 in all three sets Saturday afternoon at the Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Neb.
The Bears swept the unranked UCLA Bruins in three sets on Friday night and achieved their first ranked win of the season with their victory over Creighton. Head coach Ryan McGuyre said that he thought the team earned their points against a well-trained Bluejays squad.
“Creighton is such a good team, a trained team. They are low error, so naturally it became a match were everyone had to earn their points,” McGuyre said. “We weren’t really giving them away. I thought we did a good job overall managing our swings and really playing at a high level. Yossi (Pressley) was unstoppable at times, and what was awesome was that she was unstoppable at key moments. We’re also showing that we’re not a one-dimensional team either.”
Junior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley received MVP honors after posting 38 kills over two matches, including a match-high 19 kills against Creighton. Pressley was also named to the Husker Invitational All-Tournament Team along with redshirt senior middle blocker Shelly Stafford and junior setter Hannah Lockin, who posted her first double-double of the year.
Stafford praised Pressley’s performance noting that the junior was setting a tone for the season.
“First of all, I have two words: Yossi Pressley. She was just going off. And I think she really made a statement,” Stafford said.
The first set was a back and forward battle with six lead changes and 15 ties. After Pressley finished her eighth kill of the frame, out of 10, the Bluejays called a timeout with Baylor leading 21-19 after which freshman middle blocker Kara McGhee posted a kill for the set point. Creighton followed that up with an attack error to give the Bears the set.
Baylor dominated the second set, never trailing. Redshirt sophomore Marieke van der Mark forced another Creighton timeout after making her eighth kill, a career high. Stafford made the final kill of the set for the final two points.
The Bears trailed the Bluejays 13-10 to begin third set but went on a 4-0 run to take a 19-16 lead and didn’t look back as they finished the sweep.
Stafford was happy with the way her team played relatively error free.
“Honestly, I think we just really played well. We didn’t make as many errors as we have in the past, so I think just keeping our errors down and really just playing free and playing ignited and for each other is really I think what made us do well,” Stafford said.
The Bears posted a .277 offensive efficiency to improve 3-0 against BIG EAST squads under McGuyre. The fifth-year head coach acknowledged that there are things to work on to improve but that he was pleased with the results this weekend.
“We’re still fine tuning some things we can do with our middles, but we’re working on finding the right ways to win,” McGuyre said.
Baylor continues their season opening road trip against Syracuse and No. 5 Wisconsin at the HotelRED Invitational next Friday and Saturday in Madison, Wis.