No. 2 volleyball opens conference with another sweep

Senior outside hitter leaps for a kill against Texas State last Tuesday night. Milana hit a season-high .667 hitting % with nine kills and 12 attempts. Kristen DeHaven | Multimedia Journalist

By Matthew Soderberg | Sports writer

No. 2 Baylor volleyball completed its fifth-straight sweep with a 25-15, 25-13, 25-22 victory over Kansas. The Bears have now tied their best start in program history at 11-0 and are the only remaining undefeated squad in the country.

Junior setter Hannah Lockin earned her fifth double-double of the season, posting 35 assists and 12 digs. Junior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley had a match-high 17 kills with a .483 hitting %, and senior outside hitter Gia Milana added nine kills with a season-high .667 hitting %.

Milana and fifth-year senior middle blocker Shelley Stafford started strong with consecutive kills during the Bears opening 10-3 run, then went even with the Jayhawks to 17-8. Stafford grabbed the first set with an ace on Kansas after Baylor’s fourth block of the year forced a timeout on behalf of the Jayhawks.

The Bears took off in the second with an 8-0 run, followed by a big hit from Pressley to give the Bears a 2-0 set lead.

The Jayhawks proved tough to finish off in the third set, however, bringing the score to 6-2 before a big run by Baylor. Again, Pressley was able to end the set strong, finishing with three kills over the last four points to pick up the sweep.

Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre said the win on the road was a great way to start off Big 12 play.

“Any road sweep in conference is a good start,” McGuyre said. “I thought we were hitting well even though we weren’t quite in rhythm. We did a good job managing our swings. Our blocks came up big for us when we needed. I was really impressed with Gia (Milana). We probably didn’t set her enough. When we got her the ball, she made some big plays and had big swings for us. Hannah Lockin continues to do a good job. She got good timely kills and moved the ball around.”

Another plus on the day: after emphasis placed all season by McGuyre, the Bears finally blocked over three shots per set, blocking 11 shots from the Jayhawks in Saturday’s sweep.

Baylor will take their undefeated record back home, hosting the Oklahoma Sooners at 7 p.m., Wednesday at the Ferrell Center. The match will also be streamed on ESPN+.