By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer
Back in August, head coach Ryan McGuyre said he believes that a championship is a realistic goal for the Baylor volleyball team. He and his team have set out to accomplish what he deemed “near impossible.”
With 10 matches left in the season, the team is ranked No. 11 nationally with an 11-4 record, being 5-1 in conference. The Bears are currently on a four-match winning streak and have won 10 of their last 11 matches, including a stretch of five straight sweeps. Baylor has had multiple players win Big 12 awards this season, with the most recent award winner being senior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley with Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. Pressley said she believes that despite all of this, the team has not reached their full potential yet. She said she is excited for how strong the team can become for the final stretch of the season.
“I don’t think we fully hit our stride,” Pressley said. “We have potential and it’s going to take a little bit longer to get there, but I’m excited to see where this team goes and the firepower that we can bring coming up in December.”
McGuyre said it all starts with them taking care of business.
“We got to take care of business each week,” McGuyre said. “If we keep doing that, that’s farther down the track that we’re going to get. As we head into the end of October and early November. We got to make sure that our strides are moving farther down the track.”
McGuyre said him and his staff see the big picture and understand what the team needs to focus on going forward to achieve their championship aspirations.
“Our staff sees the big picture,” McGuyre said. “‘Hey, to win a national championship, these are the things we need.’ We need some grit, we got to make sure we’re competitive and are creating stress and pressure practices and [that] those become pleasurable moments for them. In matches, we got to make sure that our side-out game doesn’t have any cracks or faults in it. So ‘Hey, where do we need to shore up the server?’ See what type of sets into which hitters [and] Hannah [Sedwick] need that connection and chemistry. [With] defense and blocking, what type of attacks are we great against and that we can get even better at. And what kind of attacks, should we see that type of attack in postseason, make sure we’re really strong against as well. We’re keeping a list, we’re checking it twice and want to make sure that we’re being nasty on the court and nice off.”
Baylor hopes to make big strides as the team nears the end of the season. They have a chance to prove themselves as the season continues as, after this week’s matches against West Virginia University, the Bears will take on the University of Texas, which is currently ranked No. 1.