By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer
No. 11 Baylor volleyball increased its win streak to five matches as the team swept West Virginia University (13-5, 3-4). The Bears remained in control the majority of the match as they are now 12-4, 6-1 in conference.
Senior outside hitters Yossiana Pressley and Avery Skinner led the way for the Bears tonight as Pressley finished with 17 kills and Skinner tacked on a double-double with 10 kills and 14 digs. Senior setter Hannah Sedwick finished with 34 assists, nine digs and three kills on a .600 hitting percentage.
In the first set, things were tight as a kill from Pressley tied the set at nine. From there, WVU slightly pulled away until a kill from Skinner cut the lead to three at 16-13. As the set progressed the teams remained back-and-forth. Pressley was doing it all as she surprised WVU with a tip to cut the lead 19-16. A crucial block from senior middle blocker Preslie Anderson kept the Bears in the set and tied it at 23. Baylor would then go on a 3-1 run to take the first set 26-24.
Once again the Bears made a statement in the second set of a match as they jumped out to a big lead early on. Their lead increased as a kill and two aces from Pressley put Baylor up 17-5. The Mountaineers would attempt to climb their way back into the set, but he deficit was too big to overcome as Baylor held on to win the set 25-20.
Skinner swung hard and early in the third set as a kill from her put the Bears on the board first. The teams would trade points early on but Pressley’s solo block and emphatic kill increased their lead to 7-4. Pressley came up big down the stretch as back-to-back kills allowed the Bears to maintain control at 10-7. The Mountaineers started to apply pressure, eventually taking the lead at 12-11, forcing a Baylor timeout. Pressley immediately responded with a kill coming out of the timeout, tying the set. From there, they would alternate points as neither team was able to pull away. Late in the set, a kill from Sedwick swung momentum in Baylor’s favor as they led 23-21. The Bears finished off the match with a thunderous kill from Skinner to take the set 25-22 and complete the sweep.
Head coach Ryan McGuyre said this West Virginia team is the best team of theirs he has seen in his time at Baylor and believes they can be a tournament team. Despite getting the sweep, McGuyre believes Baylor still need to play better and sharper.
“On the road you want to get in and out as soon as possible,” McGuyre said. “Our ability to hang tight enough in the first set and steal that there at the end was important for us for this match. Definitely we were in control for the second set, but we needed to finish stronger. We kind of made the third set a little bit closer than it needed to be. Overall, just thought we were good in all areas but not great in a single one, so we want to be sharper and cleaner in all ways in our match tomorrow.”
The Bears get the chance to do so in their second match with West Virginia at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the WVU Coliseum.