• Baylor volleyball named No. 12 overall seed for NCAA tournament

    Baylor volleyball players celebrate on the court

    It’s been an interesting year for both Baylor volleyball and collegiate volleyball as a whole, thanks to (what else?) COVID-19.

    Traditionally a fall sport, the NCAA elected to move the volleyball postseason tournament to spring, and many conferences followed suit and moved their entire seasons to the spring. The Big 12, like the ACC and SEC, elected to play a limited fall season — in the Big 12’s case, playing a conference-only schedule — and then follow that with a short spring schedule to help teams prepare for the postseason.

    It made for an odd follow-up to the best season in Baylor volleyball history. It feels like forever ago, but it was just 16 months back when head coach Ryan McGuyre’s team won the Big 12 and reached the Final Four, led by National Player of the Year Yossiana Pressley. They’ve followed that up by ranking in the top-10 essentially all season, finishing second in the Big 12, and earning a top-16 national seed for the third time in program history.

    The Bears went 19-6 on the season — suffering a tough 0-4 record against Texas, the NCAA tournament’s No. 4 overall seed, but going a combined 19-2 against the rest of their schedule. Four first-team all-Big 12 honorees led the way: Pressley, Lauren Harrison, Kara McGhee, and the program’s first-ever Big 12 Libero of the Year, Shanel Bramschreiber.

    That success earned Baylor the No. 12 overall seed (and a first-round bye) in this year’s NCAA tournament, which was reduced to 48 teams due to COVID-19-related economics. The Bears will play Thursday (11 a.m. CT, ESPN3) in the Round of 32 against the winner of Pepperdine and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. A win there would propel Baylor to the Sweet 16 for the third time in program history.

    Sic ’em, Baylor volleyball!

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