No. 2 volleyball finishes non-conference undefeated

By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer, Video by Nate Smith | Broadcast Reporter

No. 2 Baylor volleyball extended their winning streak to 10 matches last night at the Ferrell Center with a sweep of Texas State 25-19, 25-16, 25-11. The Bears have only dropped two sets all season and have now gone four matches in a row without a lost set.

The biggest stat of the night was the Bobcat’s hitting percentage. Texas State posted 20 errors and 19 kills, resulting in a -.013 clip. The Bear defense didn’t have to do much tonight as the Bobcats consistently left points on the table.

Baylor put up a .377 hitting percentage, dominating the Bobcats’ defense repeatedly, and all that success came without junior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley on the court. Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre said this was merely a rest opportunity for Pressley but she was ready if needed.

Baylor didn’t need the help tonight, though, hosting one of their best matches of the year. Sophomore opposite Marieke van der Mark said she enjoyed the success as much as anyone else on the court, posting a career-high nine kills, and that she was happy with the way her team performed as well.

“It’s pretty awesome. We knew that someone had to step up, and we all stepped up,” Van der Mark said. “Kara [McGhee] had a great .900, and I finally got the time to show what I got and it’s just awesome.”

Speaking about Pressley’s absence, Van der Mark said the team doesn’t change strategies depending on who is on the court.

“Same plan. We play the same with or without Yossi. She’s an amazing player, and we would have loved to have her out there, but KJ stepped up. KJ did her job and we just love having everyone out there. It’s not her spot. It’s everyone’s spot, and it’s good to have someone out there able to take your spot,” Van der Mark said.

McGuyre had praises for his rising star OPP after her career night. The fifth-year head coach said Van der Mark worked very hard to achieve that level of skill.

“You’ve got to remember, like, it just didn’t happen overnight for her, either. She came and redshirted. She had to still watch a little bit more than she wanted to last year, McGuyre said. “I’m excited; she’s going to be much more dominant in October and November and December than what we’re seeing now. It’s a testament to how hard she works. I love her drive. [She is a] future Olympic national team player for The Netherlands, and I’m glad we get her.”

The Bears will look to continue this hot streak into their conference opener on the road as they face the Kansas Jayhawks at 1 p.m. Saturday in Lawrence, Kan.