Baylor volleyball puts on all-around great performance against Kansas

Senior setter Hannah Sedwick puts up a good offense plan for the Bears to take a 4-1 win. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics.

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

Fresh off of their bye week, No. 11 Baylor (10-4, 4-1) defeats the University of Kansas (11-7, 3-4) in 4 sets. The Bears are now 4-1 in the Ferrell Center.

“We had a lot of girls shine tonight in different ways,” head coach Ryan McGuyre said. “Yossi clearly, front row and back row, was being her normal self. I liked the production we got out of Marieke and some middle threats. Avery’s just been really coming on strong lately. When Lauren Harrison is doing well, we have all three of our pins dialed in, and we’re really, really good. She hit well and she had a hit at a high clip.”

Junior outside hitter Lauren Harrison has really stepped up down the stretch and is slowly turning Baylor’s outside hitting duo of seniors Yossiana Pressley and Avery Skinner into a big three. Harrison had five kills in the first set which was tied with Skinner for the most. All three of them would finish the match with 15 plus kills, accompanied by nine kills from senior opposite hitter Marieke van der Mark. Pressley led all players with 20 kills.

“All of our hitters are good,” senior setter Hannah Sedwick said. “Most of them were on tonight, and it really is nice because then it’s just following the game plan and it’s simplified for me.”

The two teams were trading blows right away to start the match, while a long rally had the set tied at 4-4. Multiple kills and an ace from the Bears put them up 10-7. Later in the set, a kill from Harrison would give Baylor a 17-14 lead. A Baylor block would then halt a three-point run by the Jayhawks to put the Bears back in the lead 18-17. The Bears rode this momentum to a 25-19 set win.

The Bears started the second set off strong with a kill from Pressley to score first. The teams would trade blows before multiple kills from Sedwick helped put the Bears up 9-7. Kansas would start to pull away but kills from the outside hitters Pressley, Skinner and Harrison would tie the set at 14-14. As the set continued, consecutive kills from Skinner then Pressley put Baylor up 18-16. Skinner’s ninth kill of the match helped propel the Bears to a 28-26 set win.

With her ninth kill, Skinner hit the 1,000 career kill mark, adding another accomplishment to her resume. She is also currently a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award for 2021 as well as a finalist for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year for her time at the University of Kentucky.

Despite trailing early, three kills from Pressley would help Baylor keep things in check as Baylor took a 5-4 lead.The Jayhawks would start to pick up steam as they went up 10-7. The Bears would respond with multiple blocks to go on a 3-0 run to tie the set at 10. Kansas made their own run to retake the lead 14-11 but Pressley stopped the bleeding to make it 14-12. However, the Jayhawks would keep things rolling to a 18-14 lead. Baylor regained momentum with blocks and kills capitalized by a kill from Skinner forcing a Kansas timeout as their lead was cut to 19-18. A big block from the Bears tied the set at 22. Kansas would go on to win the set 25-23.

Kansas would start out the fourth set with a 3-0 run which Baylor immediately doubled with a 6-0 run before a Kansas timeout. The Bears maintained control as multiple kills from Pressley put the Bears up 14-8. Baylor looked like a top-10 team as they dominated the final set. The Bears cruised to a 25-15 win, ending the match.

Sedwick finished with a great all-around performance of her own with 57 assists, 11 digs and four kills to go along with three blocks.

“Hannah made some great decisions,” Pressley said. “She made it easy for me and I executed … Definitely kudos to Hannah because she put up a great offensive as you can see.”

The Bears return to action at home to play the University of Kansas at 5 p.m. on Friday in the Ferrell Center.