In case you missed it: Year in review

The 2021-2022 Baylor athletics teams have had a remarkable year filled with recording breaking wins. Photo illustration courtesy of Brittany Tankersley

By Marquis Cooley | Sports Editor

It’s been quite the year for Baylor Athletics; the 2021-2022 season was filled with plenty of memorable moments, from conference championships to rewriting history books. Here’s one last look at the best sports moments from Baylor Athletics — in case you missed it.

Victory tastes sweet; Bears beat Ole Miss 21-7 to win Sugar Bowl

Baylor history was made on New Year’s Day as No. 7 Baylor football broke the school record with its 12th win of the season, beating No. 8 University of Mississippi 21-7 at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans and winning the Sugar Bowl for the first time since 1957. The Bears also set the school record for most single season wins over ranked teams with five.

MBB finds redemption with victory over Kansas

“College GameDay” came to Waco to watch Baylor men’s basketball avenge its blowout loss to the eventual 2022 national champion University of Kansas with an 80-70 victory on Feb. 5 in the Ferrell Center in front of a program attendance record of 10,628 people. Despite going down double digits early on, the Bears led the entire final 11 minutes to close out the Jayhawks.

Women’s basketball makes program history in WNBA Draft

For the second time in program history, Baylor had three players selected in the WNBA draft. NaLyssa Smith, Queen Egbo and Jordan Lewis each heard their name called during the 2022 WNBA draft on April 11 in New York City. Smith and Egbo were both selected by the Indiana Fever with No. 2 and No. 10 picks respectively, becoming the first duo to be selected top-10 in program history and the first pair to be picked in the first round in 20 years. Lewis was taken by the Connecticut Sun in the second round with the 24th overall pick, becoming the fourth-straight graduate transfer to come to Baylor and get drafted.

No. 1 A&T flips to seventh-straight national championship

No. 1 Baylor acrobatics and tumbling and head coach Felecia Mulkey further cemented their legacy with their seventh-straight national championship, defeating No. 3 Gannon University 273.685-268.965 on April 30 in Eugene, Ore. However, immediately following the victory, Mulkey already had her eyes set on obtaining title No. 8.

Kaci West etches her name into Baylor softball’s history books

Freshman pitcher Kaci West turned in a perfect outing against Prairie View A&M University on March 1 in Getterman Stadium. It was the first perfect game in program history; West pitched all five innings, striking out five, and the defense handled the other 10 outs on its way to a 9-0 victory.

Kyle Nevin’s historic day fuels series-salvaging win for Baylor baseball

On the verge of being swept by No. 9 Texas Tech University after a 7-1 loss followed by a 11-1 loss, sophomore infielder Kyle Nevin lit up Baylor Ballpark on May 1 to give the Bears an 11-7 win. Nevin finished a career-high 5-for-5 at the plate with another career-best three doubles, also tying a program record in a Big 12 game and tying a career-high of four RBIs.

Volleyball pounces on No. 1 Texas

Baylor volleyball took down No. 1 University of Texas in four sets on Nov. 6, 2021, handing them their one and only loss of the regular season in what was an instant classic at the Ferrell Center. Senior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley was unstoppable as she finished with 24 kills on a .302 hitting percentage. Senior setter Hannah Sedwick also had a big night with 41 assists and 13 digs.

Men’s tennis triumphs over No. 1 TCU for Big 12 title

Baylor men’s tennis claimed a 4-2 victory over No. 1 Texas Christian University on April 24 at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center in Fort Worth to secure its third-straight Big 12 title and Baylor’s 25th overall. Senior Matias Soto cinched the win, beating No. 14 Juan Carlos Aguilar after a weather delay caused the match to be stopped for an hour before being moved inside.

Paula Barañano tips women’s tennis over No. 25 Kansas

Nearly five hours after start time, No. 21 Baylor women’s tennis pushed past No. 25 University of Kansas 4-3 on April 10 at the Hurd Tennis Center for its second top-25 win of the year. With the score tied at 3-3, it all came down to the final contest on court six, where junior Paula Barañano emerged victorious.

Women’s golf blows away field in Rainbow Wahine Invitational

Baylor women’s golf won its 39th team title and its first of the season in dominating fashion, winning the Rainbow Wahine Invitational by 30 shots on Oct. 27, 2021. Senior Gurleen Kaur took home the individual title for the fourth time in her career, finishing one stroke ahead of her teammate, sophomore Britta Snyder. Sophomore Rosie Belsham rounded out the top three, finishing just a shot behind Snyder for third place.

Men’s golf opens spring slate with top-five finish

Baylor men’s golf finished fourth at the Border Olympics on Feb. 15 at the Laredo Country Club in Laredo. The Bears posted a cumulative score of 873, 9-over-par in 54 holes. Sophomore Luke Morgan led the way with a fifth-place finish, while junior Johnny Keefer landed in ninth.

Track and field comes away with 21 victories in Baylor Invitational

Baylor track and field came away with 21 wins, not counting professional athletes, in its first home meet of the season at the Baylor Invitational on April 2 at the Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium. A major highlight came from freshman thrower Chinecherem Prosper Nnamdi, whose javelin throw was the longest ever recorded at the stadium with 76.08 m for the nation’s top mark before he threw a 81.07 m a few weeks later at the Michael Johnson Invitational.

Cross country opens season with pair of top-five finishes

Baylor cross country started its season at the Aggie Opener on Sept. 2, 2021, at the Dale Watts Cross Country Course in College Station. Two seniors led the way with impressive finishes. Ellie Friesen finished fourth in the women’s 4.1-kilometer race with a time of 14:29.7, and Ryan Hodge finished fifth in the men’s 5-kilometer race with a time of 15:47.0. Both teams placed in the top five, with the women’s team earning third and the men’s team finishing fourth.

Equestrian dominates South Carolina on senior day

Baylor equestrian sent its seniors out in style, notching a 13-5 victory over the University of South Carolina on Feb. 18 at the Willis Family Equestrian Center. It was the Bears’ largest margin of victory for the season as Baylor jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back.

Baylor soccer ties Oregon in thrilling comeback

Baylor soccer drew a 2-2 tie against the University of Oregon on Sept. 13, 2021, at Betty Lou Mays Field. After falling behind 2-0, the Bears flipped the switch in the 81st minute when Oregon’s junior forward Lexi Romero was hit with a red card for unsportsmanlike behavior, giving Baylor an 11-to-10 player advantage. The Bears immediately took advantage, scoring less than a minute later to make it 2-1. Sophomore midfielder Chloe Japic netted the equalizer with just two seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime; neither team was able to gain an edge, resulting in a draw.