Bears sweep Mountaineers in match two

By Harper Mayfield | Sports Writer, Video by Tim Longoria | Broadcast Reporter

Baylor volleyball earned the sweep of West Virginia on Friday, defeating the Mountaineers three sets to none, 25-20, 25-14, and 25-16, respectively.

Baylor was dominant statistically, leading in six of the eight statistical categories. The Bears had another dominant defensive showing, proving that they’ve earned their reputation as a defensive powerhouse.

Coming into the match, Baylor ranked No. 15 in blocks per set, averaging 2.31. The Bears finished with 12 total blocks in the match, led by sophomore middle blocker Kara McGhee with seven. Junior setter Callie Williams and junior libero Shanel Bracmschreiber, posted 38 assists and 12 digs, respectively.

“We brought the defense back again, last night we held them to 6% — tonight 3% — [hitting percentage],” said coach Ryan McGuyre, “That’s what we wanted to do, and we talked about what we needed to bring offensively, our game as an outside hitter, dominant game.”

The outside hitters were standouts, as senior Yossiana Pressley and sophomore Lauren Harrison combined for 30 kills on the night.

“Stellar performance from Lauren and Yossi, ” McGuyre said. “[Lauren] hit .545 on the night, only one error, incredibly amazing, I don’t think you can do any better than that, except Yossi did, [hitting] .654.”

A big part of Baylor’s effort against the Mountaineers came in places that don’t show up in the stat sheet.

“We’re playing together more, instead of having that dead energy,” Pressley said, “Sometimes, especially with COVID and everything, there’s not gonna be people in the stands … so having that momentum and having that joy definitely brings it out and helps us with our performance.”

The first set of the night was the most competitive, but Baylor still managed a 25-20 win. The Bears opened on a 10-2 tear, buoyed by four consecutive errors from the Mountaineers. West Virginia would put together runs of 6-0 and 4-0 later in the set, but neither were enough to overcome Baylor’s lead, although West Virginia did cut the deficit to 24-20 in the closing minutes of the set.

The second was Baylor’ most dominant, again jumping out to a large lead, this time 10-1. The Baylor offense and defense were both performing at high levels, as the Bears led West Virginia in kills in the second by seven, and in blocks by three. Baylor’s early lead would prove insurmountable, ending in a 25-14 win.

The night’s final set was also a strong one for the Bears. Baylor kept their errors down, only allowing themselves three in the third set, while West Virginia experienced the opposite, slipping into 10 errors. Baylor’s six blocks in the last set sealed the deal on a 25-16 victory.

The Bears will face No.1 Texas next week for a showdown between the the top two squads in the nation.