No. 10 Baylor volleyball upsets No. 7 Minnesota to win season opener

Baylor volleyball opened up their season with a win over No. 7 Minnesota Friday night. Photo credit: Baylor Athletics

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

No. 10 Baylor volleyball (1-0) upset No. 7 Minnesota (0-1) three sets to one, 26-24, 16-25, 25-17, 28-26, Friday night at the Wisconsin Field House. Starting the season off strong with a win in the first of five matches against top-10 opponents.

The Bears won the first set in extra points, 26-24, despite the Gophers starting the set strong. The set ended with a kill from senior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley and an attack error by the Gophers.

The second set didn’t go the Bears’ way, losing 16-25. Never finding their groove, the Bears allowed for a 10-1 scoring run by the Gophers, summing up how the rest of the set played out.

In the third set the Bears paid the Gophers back in full. The team showed their mental toughness in the bounce-back set winning 25-17. Pressley and senior opposite Marieke van der Mark led the Bears in the set, with Pressley scoring four kills and van der Mark scoring seven kills.

Despite being a close game overall, 28-26, the Bears seemed to be in control most of the fourth set. Senior outside hitter Avery Skinner came up big for the team getting multiple kills and blocks in the set, including a clutch block at 25-25 which served as the turning point in the match. Capping it off with an assist from Skinner, the Bears won the set and concluded the match three sets to one.

Pressley notched a double-double with 19 kills and 16 assists. Van der Mark turned in 14 kills of her own and Skinner was near a double-double with eight kills and 13 digs. Senior setter Hannah Sedwick put up her own double-double with 46 assists and 10 digs.

“We had great things all the way around from so many different areas,” Baylor Volleyball Head Coach Ryan McGuyre said. “I thought our depth really pulled us through.”

Up next, the Bears play No. 2 Wisconsin (1-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Wisconsin Field House. If the Bears can beat the Badgers, it would be the highest ranked team Baylor has ever beaten on the road, as well as the first time Baylor has beaten two top-10 teams in the same week. Wisconsin defeated Texas Christian University in a clean sweep of three sets in their season opener.

“It doesn’t get any easier tomorrow,” McGuyre said. “Wisconsin played a lot less points than we did today, gets a little more extra time for rest and it’s in their house. We’re underdogs once again but we relish the role and we hope it turns into another great volleyball match.”