By Harper Mayfield | Sports Writer
Baylor volleyball is set to face off with their third ranked opponent in a row, as the No. 10 Kansas State Wildcats will come to Waco this weekend for a pair of matches to close out the Big 12 season.
The Bears will have a substantial break before competing in the NCAA tournament in the spring.
“It’ll be different. I normally look at the Thanksgiving time, and the party we always have at my house for the selection show has always kind of been the highlight of the season for me,” head coach Ryan McGuyre said. “It’s a culmination of the work you’ve done in the summer, but we didn’t get a summer, we didn’t get a spring.”
The Bears dropped their last two matches to No. 1 Texas, but the team is still in position to receive a high seed in the postseason.
“We always say ‘You’re only as good as your last match,’ so, definitely, we want to play very strong, finish very strong and be able to build upon that.” McGuyre said.
Baylor has had some trouble with injuries this season, and those troubles continue to plague the team. McGuyre doesn’t expect anyone to be forced to miss the Kansas State matches, however, and called the injury situations “precautionary.” A fully healthy Baylor team could look very different than the one seen so far this season, as reigning National Player of the Year Yossiana Pressley has dealt with injury throughout the fall. Additionally, All-American setter Hannah Sedwick missed much of the season while recovering from injury.
“This past week I’ve been looking fresh, and that’s so amazing, because I’ve been struggling with injuries and stuff,” Pressley said.
Looking at this weekend with the Wildcats, it’s hard to ignore their jump from the cellar of the Big 12 standings to the bronze medal position.
“Their culture is a lot healthier this year. I always feel a culture can carry you through, and win some games when you’re weathering storms and different things,” McGuyre said. “They did have some transfers. I think if you ask the coaches, there’s some addition by subtraction there, where, I feel, they got some young athletes that don’t know any better and they seem to be really bought in.”
Excited young athletes seem to be just what the doctor ordered for Kansas State, as they currently sit at 10-4 on the season, and are riding a five match win streak.
“They’ve gotten those missing pieces that they’ve had in the past couple of years,” Pressley said. “They’ve always been a solid team, but weren’t able to finish, possibly, or just were missing something. They have a lot of offensive weapons, they’re more level headed … and I’m excited to play them.”
Baylor’s Friday match with K-State is slated for 5 p.m. at the Ferrell Center. The Saturday match will start at 2 p.m. Both matches can be found on Big 12 Now and ESPN+.