Big 12 champion Baylor volleyball claims No. 1 national seed in NCAA tournament
Thanks to a 25-1 regular season record that brought with it a Big 12 title, Baylor volleyball will enter the NCAA tournament as the nation’s No. 1 overall seed and will begin their postseason run at home this Friday.
The final weekend of the regular season was, fittingly, a momentous one for the Bears. A 3-0 sweep over TCU on Saturday gave the Bears their first-ever Big 12 title. Baylor’s 15-1 Big 12 record earned them a share of the championship along with Texas; the two teams split their regular season meetings, with UT winning in Austin and Baylor returning the favor last month in Waco in front of a program-record crowd of 7,357.
After claiming the Big 12 title, head coach Ryan McGuyre’s team didn’t have to wait long to make even more history. Baylor was the first name called on the NCAA selection show Sunday evening, a fitting reward for a season’s worth of dominance that included a 10-0 non-conference record (five of those over ranked teams) and 19 sweeps in 26 matches — meaning that more than two-thirds of the time, Baylor’s opponent never even won a set.
This season didn’t just come out of nowhere. Now in his fifth season at Baylor, McGuyre’s program has been building to this point, having made the NCAA tournament each of the last four seasons (another program record). That success has increased respect for the program around the nation; Baylor began this season picked to finish second in the Big 12 and ranked 20th nationally. In September, the Bears reached the top spot in the polls for the first time ever, and they regained that No. 1 ranking after beating Texas in the rematch.
Now, Baylor’s goal is to be No. 1 when the postseason draws to a close. The Bears’ NCAA tournament run begins this weekend at the Ferrell Center, where Baylor will face Sacred Heart on Friday night in the first round. The winner of that match will face either USC or SFA on Saturday in the Ferrell Center for the right to go to the Sweet 16. Get your tickets now!
Sic ’em, Bears!