By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer
After another convincing performance, this time in their home opener, No. 12 Baylor volleyball (4-3) swept Rice University (4-4) Thursday night at the Ferrell Center winning 3-0. The team has seemingly found its groove, winning three straight matches and having only given up one set during the win streak. Including six-straight sets in which they’ve held the opponent under 20 points.
“There is a better comfort level,” head coach Ryan McGuyre said. “We had a lot of decisions to make, who’s playing where, what are we doing and so I think that does allow the athletes to focus a little bit better on what their role is.”
Baylor started the match strong in the first set, setting things off with a 4-0 run that began with a kill from senior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley. The set would then turn into a somewhat back and forth, however the Bears never lost the early lead they built. The Bears would go on to commence a long rally resulting in Baylor widening their lead to 18-13, forcing a Rice timeout. Baylor would go on to win the set 25-18.
Baylor began the second set rocky with three early service errors. However, their hitters seemed to be on a mission, willing the team to a 10-6 lead. The Bears never looked back on their way to an impressive win with a score of 25-17.
In the third set the Bears once again struck first to take the lead. However, Rice would also come out swinging taking an early lead at 6-4. Baylor never got discouraged and after some back and forth, eventually took the lead back and forced another Rice timeout with the set at 12-9. The Bears hit their stride and opened up the lead to 18-13. The power of senior outside hitter Avery Skinner, the finesse of Pressley, and the wall of blocking that was created proved to be too much for the Owls as the Bears took the third and final set, 25-17.
Baylor flexed their dominance as the team’s abundance of talent was on full display with everyone on the court contributing to a great team win. Senior setter Hannah Sedwick finished with 37 assists. Although she only needed 33 coming into the game to become the fifth player in Baylor’s history to reach 4,000 career assists.
“That’s just a number that’s really cool and awesome,” Sedwick said. “I’m really thankful for the opportunity that I’ve had to even reach that number, and all the people that have killed all of those balls, because they have to do something with it. I am just really thankful for that.”
“What’s cool about Hannah is that it’s never been about stats and numbers for her,” McGuyre said. “From day one, it’s always been about her faithfulness. I think more for Hannah she’s just faithful, and you know from [a] freshmen to a married woman, and who she is now, it’s just such a blessing for me to have her influence on the team. So 4,000 assists is great, definitely a legendary setter for Baylor volleyball. Powerful women of influence, both of these women [Pressley and Sedwick] are but what they bring is heart first and foremost, what makes them so special is team.”
Up next, the Bears take on McNeese State University at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Ferrell Center for the first time the two schools have met since 2012.