By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer
Senior outside hitter Avery Skinner is excited for her first homecoming weekend as a Bear as she gets to play two matches and attend homecoming events. Skinner’s father, Brian Skinner, is a former NBA player as well as a former Bear. With an alumnus in the family, Skinner used to attend Baylor homecomings when she was a kid and now gets to keep the tradition going.
“I am really excited,” Skinner said. “I always loved coming to homecoming growing up, so I am extremely pumped to not only be able to play this weekend but also attend the events that the university will be holding. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
After playing four seasons at the University of Kentucky, which included a national championship, Skinner said she decided to transfer to Baylor for academic reasons. She said she wanted to come here for a graduate degree and being eligible for a fifth year of volleyball was the “cherry on top.”
Skinner has had a solid season, but has recently really hit her stride. Skinner earned her first Big 12 conference award by winning Offensive Player of the week, has had multiple matches of 20 or more kills and multiple double-doubles. She said she has gotten more comfortable on the team and credits her teammates, such as senior setter Hannah Sedwick, as big contributors to her success.
“While getting that award is exciting, it would not be possible without my teammates,” Skinner said. “This is a team sport, and going to battle with them is something I love to do. There are always some growing pains when you join a new team, but I would definitely say I have gotten more comfortable. Hannah and I’s connection has been really good lately, which helps a lot, and the team chemistry overall is coming together every day.”
Sedwick said she has loved having Skinner on the team this season as Skinner has been great for the team on and off the court.
“It’s been awesome,” Sedwick said. “She’s a great addition to our team, great firepower from the front row, obviously, and the back row, solid on defense and serve receive. Just such a hard worker, always in the gym getting reps. That aspect has been great but also she’s just such a fun person and such a kind person.”
Skinner is just nine kills away from reaching 1,000 career kills. She looks to reach the milestone in tonight’s matchup against the University of Kansas at 6 p.m. in the Ferrell Center, which will put an even bigger stamp on this year’s homecoming for Skinner.
“It feels great,” Skinner said. “This is something I have been working towards my whole career and I would not have achieved this goal without my fifth year, so I am excited to reach this milestone in the near future.”