No. 3 volleyball on roll as Kansas comes to town

The Bears celebrate a kill against Iowa State in Baylor's Nov. 3 sweep of the Cyclones at the Ferrell Center. Cole Tompkins | Multimedia Editor

By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer

No. 3 Baylor volleyball is preparing to take on unranked Kansas Wednesday at the Ferrell Center. The last matchup was a sweep over the Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kan. on Sept. 28.

The Bears have gotten back on track after a three-game stretch featuring six dropped sets, as they’ve swept their last two matchups. Baylor is also 10-0 at home this season, as home matches with Kansas and No. 1 Texas loom ahead.

Junior setter Hannah Lockin was named Big 12 Co-Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts against Iowa State and Texas Tech. The junior setter led the league with 14 assists per set and led the Bears to the best offense in the conference for the last week. Lockin said her success is all due to God.

“[The] confidence isn’t from anything but the Lord, just knowing that I have the ability to play free because the victory is already in Jesus,” Lockin said. “So, I’m like, I’m just gonna play free and it’s been really awesome to see Him at work.”

It isn’t just Lockin that supplied the offense, the defense and hitters are involved too. Head coach Ryan McGuyre said the match against Texas Tech was a great way to kick start the team.

“It was good offensively. You know, we had three players [with] double-digit kills, Kara (McGhee) hit at a high percentage. Lockin was doing good. So we were able to be pretty intentional in that one and just again limiting our errors,” McGuyre said.

Kansas is at 7-14 on the season, so it may be easy for them to look past the Jayhawks to the Longhorns on Nov. 20, but Kansas won’t be easy to put away. The Bears haven’t swept the season series against the team from Lawrence since 2007. Junior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley said they need to stay focused on the task at hand.

“We definitely have to refocus and stay in that moment. So, right now, the most important match is Kansas, and then after that’s done, we have to focus on the next [one],” Pressley said.

Still, Texas is next. Shortly after will be the playoffs, and McGuyre has been talking about preparing the team for another run all season. After three straight second-round appearances in the NCAA tournament, the head coach said his team is ready to take the next step.

“December is right around the corner, and so, you know, we’ve talked about December and August and we’re playing those matches … not to get us ready for conference, but for December,” McGuyre said. “The reality is the sense of urgency needs to be as high as it was then because we have less and less days to prepare for it.”

No. 3 Baylor’s match against the Kansas Jayhawks is at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Ferrell Center. The game can also be streamed through ESPN+ on the ESPN app.