No. 2 volleyball facesTexas Tech for two

Junior libero Shanel Bramschreiber, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, saves a ball from going out of bounds during Baylor’s sweep of Oklahoma last Friday. Ava Sanborn | Photographer

By Harper Mayfield | Sports Writer

Following a pair of competitive matches with Oklahoma, Baylor volleyball is headed to Lubbock to face off with an up-and-down Texas Tech team.

To this point in the season, Tech has been as even as a team can be. The Red Raiders are 3-3 on the year, including being 1-1 at home and 2-2 on the road. Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre said he isn’t worried about preparing for Tech’s inconsistencies.

“We finally have a little bit of film of our opponent going into it,” McGuyre said. “Tony [Graystone]’s a great coach, and part of his philosophy is matchups. He’s always moving his lineup around … We’ve seen all of his different lineups.”

The Bears were without sophomore outside hitter Lauren Harrison last week, and have gone all season in absence of senior setter Hannah Sedwick. For most teams, that would be enough to mail in the season, but not for Baylor.

“We have so much depth that, I think, the trust really runs deep within every single player that’s coming off the bench,” said junior libero Shanel Bramschreiber.

Bramschreiber had a big week against Oklahoma, recording double-digit digs in both matches against the Sooners, and was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.

“It meant a lot to me,” Bramschreiber said. “Really it’s a big shoutout to my teammates because practicing against great hitters in the gym just makes me better, and it makes great hitters seem more familiar on the other side.”

Baylor’s matches with Oklahoma were some of the season’s most competitive, as the Bears battled for a five-set win last Thursday. But a close contest can have its benefits.

“We haven’t gone five sets in a while, and it kind of lit a fire under us. … We just wanted to be relentless on the court,” Bramschreiber said.

Baylor sports have certainly felt the effects of COVID-19, with the football team having to halt practice and postpone this week’s game. And while the volleyball team has remained healthy, precautions must still be taken.

“It changes, so how we’re traveling this week is going to look a lot different than how we traveled to Kansas,” McGuyre said. “So while I like to build and create routines that can get in us in an optimal mindset for matches, we also know that resiliency is going to be one of those things that we got to do.”

The Bears will take on Texas Tech at 6 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday in Tech’s United Supermarkets Arena. Matches can be viewed on Big 12 Now and ESPN+.