No. 14 VB looks for 10th straight win in conference opener

Riley Simpson (13) moments away from winning Baylor a point in the game against McNeese. Kenneth Prabhakar | Photographer

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

No. 14 Baylor volleyball gears up to host Texas Christian University at 7 p.m. Wednesday night in the Ferrell Center for the season’s conference opener. The Bears (10-2) are scorching hot coming into this match, defeating their last nine consecutive opponents, eight by way of sweep. Under head coach Ryan McGuyre, they are 4-3 in conference openers, including 5-2 in Big 12 home openers.

“We’re ready for conference, 0-0, your typical coach-speak there,” McGuyre said. “I thought the team has really grown up a lot in the preseason. We’ve got a lot of work to do still. We need to make sure our energy shows up.”

Baylor has been victorious in the last 10 meetings against TCU (5-6), and is looking for their 12th straight win at the Ferrell Center. The last time the Bears lost at home goes back to their instant-classic matches with Texas.

This matchup welcomes Horned Frogs head coach Jason Williams back to Waco, where he spent seven seasons on the Baylor coaching staff. McGuyre said he is looking forward to facing Williams but still plans to approach it like any other contest.

“It’s exciting for me. He’s a phenomenal coach. He’s a big reason why we were successful. I consider him a friend,” McGuyre said. “For me, volleyball is just a small part of the big picture. So it’s one of those things where we want to do well. We want to represent Baylor well, but I still root for him. I hope TCU plays the best volleyball they’ve ever played against us and challenges us and makes us better … I hope we beat Jason both times, and he wins all the rest. Either way, I’m rooting for his success.”

Sophomore outside hitter Elise McGhee shared McGuyre’s sentiment, and said she is excited to go head-to-head with TCU as well because of the connections there.

“We treat every game like it’s the same, but Big 12 is definitely fun,” McGhee said. “I feel like playing TCU is fun, too, we have lots of relationships there. We love Jason (Williams), love Callie (Williams), Preslie (Anderson, volunteer assistant), all of them. I think starting off Big 12 play with TCU is just a super-exciting game. So, I’m really excited for it.”