By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer, Video by Drake Toll | Broadcast Reporter
No. 5 Baylor is now 7-0 after bringing down Tennessee 3-0 completing its fifth sweep of the season and first at home in front of a record-breaking 3,878 fans at the Ferrell Center Saturday afternoon.
Head coach Ryan McGuyre loved the energy during today’s matchup.
“It was so much fun. I felt like I was getting ready to get on an airplane and take off at the start of the game. We’ve said it all the time: we’re a family here, and great family knows how to multiply the joy,” coach McGuyre said. “When you can make some great plays and play good volleyball, and you get to multiply that by almost four thousand people out there, it’s just exponentially exciting and fun.”
Junior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley was named Highest Scorer and Most Valuable Player after racking up 36 kills in seven sets. Pressley also helped out on defense, supplying seven digs and three blocks. The junior praised her team for her success.
“Our standard is very high, it’s been high. We need to be engaged, fired up, and have each other’s back,” Pressley said.
Today, though, the star of the show was junior setter Hannah Lockin who completed her fourth double-double, putting up 26 assists in three sets and landing 13 digs across the floor, a season-high for the junior. McGuyre praised his setter’s performance postgame.
“Hannah Lockin was doing a great, great job managing the offense. I just feel her decision making is a testament to what coach [Samantha] Erger is doing in training her,” McGuyre said. “She’s just matured so much.”
The first set was Tennessee’s best of the day. Tessa Grubbs held the Volunteers together as long as she could, but Pressley and All-American redshirt senior Shelly Stafford each had four kills on less than ten attempts, powering the Bears to a 25-18 win. Tennessee took a timeout after Baylor gained a 17-11 difference, proceeding to go on a 5-2 run, but the Bears countered with a timeout of their own, finishing the set with a 6-2 run.
The second set featured a close game through the 15-13 timeout by Baylor. After that, BU went on a 10-4 run to slash back any momentum the Volunteers may have been gaining. Pressley was a volume scorer in the second, picking up five kills alongside two assists and a block. The set ended on redshirt sophomore Marieke van der Mark’s third kill of the day to bring Baylor’s lead to 2-0.
The Bears took a much more balanced approach in the third set, with five players scoring two or more kills. Van der Mark once again finished the set with her sixth and final kill to get the sweep for Baylor.
The downfall of the Volunteers came from their errors. With eight in the final frame, Tennessee posted a .059 hitting %, a fatal blow to their hope of a comeback. Meanwhile Baylor posted its worst offensive set of the day, but still managed to end the day with a 13-4 run.
The Bears led their opponent by over 120 points in hitting %, playing cleaner volleyball and putting the ball on the floor more in fewer chances than the Volunteers. Pressley talked about the team’s dominance over their opponents after accepting her award.
“I feel like this year is the year, and we’re just a lot more clean,” Pressley said. “We have a lot more grit, and we’re just ready to win.”
After starting with five matches on the road, the Bears get to stay home this week, with matches against No. 21 Missouri and No.18 Hawaii coming next weekend at the Ferrell Center.