By Harper Mayfield | Sports Writer
Baylor volleyball finished off their weekend against Kansas State in dominant fashion, sweeping the second match with the Wildcats 25-18, 25-23, 25-13, Saturday at the Ferrell Center.
The Bears weren’t just celebrating a win on Saturday though, as the team honored graduate middle blocker Lache Harper after the match for her time with the Bears this season. As important as the win was, head coach Ryan McGuyre also recognized how helpful it is for the team to have fun, too.
“It’s fun when the girls get to have a lot of fun,” McGuyre said. “Sometimes I’ve got to remember our own vision is ‘Greatest volleyball experience ever,’ so it was good to see… people celebrating.”
Over the course of the season, Baylor has been strong on the second half of back-to-backs. They continued their tradition of second day excellence, and will look to carry that into their winter break.
“Good that we can go three and out on day two, and we’re going to enjoy Thanksgiving and look forward to getting better in the spring,” McGuyre said.
Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Harrison had a big game for the Bears, posting 10 kills and a pair of blocks on the day. Harrison finished second on the team in points in the match, with 12. After a few matches in which Harrison hadn’t been as productive, she attributed her success to a more aggressive mindset.
“I think I just had the mindset of ‘hit hard,” Harrison said. “Coach always tells us good things happen when we hit hard, so we went out there and did.”
Other Bears with noteworthy performances included senior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley and senior setter Hannah Sedwick. Pressley totaled 16 kills, a service ace and nine digs. Sedwick finished with five kills, 19 assists, three blocks and three digs.
As impactful as Pressley was, she felt she could’ve done more for the team.
“I feel like I still need to do a better job, with my errors and everything, and just be smarter with my shots,” Pressley said.
Whether or not Pressley’s match was where she thought it needed to be, Baylor dominated the Wildcats in the first set, winning 25-18. The Bears got out to a 13-9 lead and kept going. From that point on, K-State didn’t come closer than three points. A late 4-0 run was more than enough for Baylor to start strong and take the first set.
Baylor didn’t start quite as hot in the second set, allowing the Cats to get a 10-6 lead before rattling off a monster 7-0 run to take a 13-10 lead of their own. Baylor would build that lead all the way up to 24-18, but couldn’t finish the set as soon as they’d liked to, as Kansas State put together a strong 5-0 run to cut the deficit to one point, 24-23. Even though they bent, the Bears didn’t break, winning the set 25-23.
Baylor’s third set was its most impressive, and it felt that way from the start. Baylor had already doubled the Wildcats at the 10-5 mark, and never looked back. A 15-8 closing run saw the Bears in command throughout. Baylor took the set 25-13 and the match three sets to zero.
Baylor will have a nice break between now and the spring portion of their season, finishing second in the Big 12 with a 13-3 record.