12th-ranked Baylor volleyball to host NCAA tournament opening rounds for first time
Sunday night, the Baylor volleyball team bided time waiting for the NCAA tournament bracket’s release by gathering at head coach Ryan McGuyre’s house for a 45-minute worship time around a campfire.
When the bracket was finally released, the Bears weren’t disappointed. In just McGuyre’s third season leading the program, Baylor accomplished a host of program firsts: back-to-back postseason selections, a national seed in the NCAA tournament, and the chance to host games in the tournament’s first and second rounds.
In compiling the team’s best regular season in almost 20 years, this year’s team went 23-6 and earned the No. 12 overall seed in this year’s NCAA Volleyball Championship. Baylor will host first- and second-round games in the Ferrell Center this weekend, beginning with Miami of Ohio on Friday.
After starting the season 5-3, the Bears have won 18 of their last 21 matches, including a 13-3 Big 12 record that earned Baylor a second-place league finish — the best conference finish in program history. McGuyre was named Big 12 Coach of the Year — another program first — and outside hitter Yossiana Pressley was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year. (The Bears also led the league with 10 Academic All-Big 12 honorees.)
This year’s squad is led by Pressley (the Big 12’s leader in kills), senior outside hitter Katie Staiger (who ranks second all-time at Baylor in career kills), and senior libero Jana Brusek (who ranks second at Baylor in career digs). Staiger is also a four-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection and one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, given each year to a senior who stands out when it comes to “community, classroom, character and competition.” (Click here to vote for Staiger; fans can vote daily through Dec. 4.)
Baylor will open the 2017 NCAA tournament Friday at 7 p.m. against Miami (OH), the Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament champion. The winner of that game will face the winner of Colorado and James Madison on Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are available via BaylorBears.com.
Sic ’em, Baylor volleyball!