No.1 Baylor volleyball escapes ISU with sweep

Junior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley delivers a hit against Kansas State during the Bears 3-0 victory Saturday afternoon at the Ferrell Center. Cole Tompkins | Multimedia Editor

By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer

Baylor volleyball earned their eighth straight sweep (26-24, 25-18, 27-25) Wednesday against Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. The Bears also extended their streak of consecutive set wins to 25.

While this was another sweep, the Cyclones tested Baylor. The Bears committed 20 errors on the night, one shy of their season high for a three-set match. Junior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley hit only .156, and freshman middle blocker Kara McGee was in the negative on eight attempts.

Before the match, head coach Ryan McGuyre said his team needed to be cautious due to Iowa State’s quick tempo on offense.

“Iowa State is great. They had an early tournament, and they’re so young, and now they’re rockin’ and rollin’. I thought they exposed some things tonight. We didn’t look like a No. 1 team, but sometimes you’ve got to find ways to win, and we won ugly tonight,” McGuyre said postgame on the ESPNU broadcast.

Fifth-year senior middle blocker Shelly Stafford and senior outside hitter Gia Milana stepped up for the Bears, combining for 18 kills and only four errors, keeping the team in a relative rhythm.

The stat of the night came from a 9-0 run by Baylor under a Pressley serve in the middle of the second set to take a commanding lead. That run was able to take some of the pressure off of the team after falling behind 14-15. McGuyre also had two big challenge calls succeed during the second, buoying his team’s morale.

There wasn’t a magical run in the third. It was only a two-point lead as Iowa State took their first timeout at 9-7, and they hung around to the point where McGuyre took his first timeout up 19-18. Baylor then increased their lead to 22-20, but the Cyclones responded with a 3-0 run, forcing Baylor’s second timeout.

Out of the timeout, the Bears knocked a 5-2 run to finish off the set. Pressley picked up two of her signature kills to first tie up the match and then take the lead at 26-25 before an Iowa State error ended the match.

Baylor will once again bring their undefeated record on the road at 1 p.m. Saturday against the TCU Horned Frogs. The game can be streamed on FSSW+.