No. 1 volleyball takes comeback victory over West Virginia

Redshirt sophomore opposite, Marieke van der Mark launches the ball over the net during Baylor's sweep of Texas Tech. Cole Tompkins | Multimedia Editor

By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer

No. 1 Baylor volleyball beat West Virginia in four sets (25-19, 25-17, 21-25, 25-18) Saturday, dropping their first set at home since Sept. 12.

The Bears took care of business in the first two sets, hitting .377 by the end of the second, but danger reared its head as Baylor closed in on a win. The Mountaineers closed the set on a 9-1 run after trailing 21-16, forcing the Bears into just their third four-set match this season.

West Virginia scored first, as they did in each set Saturday, and they stayed ahead through an 18-17 lead. Baylor proceeded to finish the match on an 8-0 run, putting away any hopes the Mountaineers may have had of pulling an upset.

The Bears’ victory came on the heels of the blowout in Austin on Wednesday. Head volleyball coach Ryan McGuyre said the week’s practices were great, but execution today may have suffered.

“Our errors have got to come way down. A lot of that’s on [Yossiana Pressley] and a lot of that’s on Gia [Milana] who had some atypical ones … A lot of that’s on Lockin … the setting’s got to get back to being crisp,” McGuyre said.

And while some of the outside hitters had rougher days than usual, middle blockers Shelly Stafford and Kara McGhee balled out. Stafford, the fifth-year senior, notched 12 kills on 19 attempts with zero errors, and McGhee, the freshman, had 11 kills and two errors on 23 attempts, adding nine blocks as well.

Another senior, libero Tara Wulf, also had a big day flying around the court. Wulf racked up 17 digs and said postgame those kinds of days are the most exciting for her.

“It’s a lot of fun to be everywhere and not let the ball drop,” Wulf said. “It makes me really mad when the ball drops, on me especially, but I’m just trying to keep the ball alive for my teammates.”

The win against West Virginia wasn’t just important to get back on track after a rough loss, but it also represented McGuyre’s 100th win at Baylor. Volleyball was coming off two losing seasons when he took the helm, but with five-straight winning seasons now under his belt as a Bear, McGuyre said he hopes to get another hundred.

“I feel like the family’s getting even closer. The understanding and the trust and all the fun things we get to do as a department are great … since leaving California, [we] bounced around, Maryland, Florida, but, you know, it just feels like home,” McGuyre said.

McGuyre and the Bears will look to continue that trek for another 100 wins 7 p.m. Wednesday at Oklahoma.