• After four straight Sweet 16s, young Baylor volleyball team ready for 2023

    Baylor volleyball praying with their opponents postgame

    For a Baylor volleyball program that has reached the NCAA Tournament seven years in a row — including four straight Sweet 16 berths — expectations are always high, even with a team as young as this year’s squad. The relative youth of this year’s team may stand out, but the young talent up and down the roster poises the team for growth throughout the season, and with that the chance to continue the excellence displayed by the program under head coach Ryan McGuyre.

    This year’s roster features six freshmen and no seniors. Still, the Bears are ranked 15th in the preseason AVCA poll, and Big 12 coaches picked Baylor to finish third in the Big 12 — the seventh straight year the Bears have been picked in the preseason top three. What opposing coaches may well see amidst Baylor’s youth are a number of decorated players, with more expected to make a name for themselves quickly.

    Sophomore setter Averi Carlson earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors and was a first-team All-Big 12 pick in her rookie year. The Bears may have another rookie of the year on their hands, as freshman outside hitter Kyndal Stowers was named this year’s preseason Co-Freshman of the Year. Two more Bears — junior Lauren Briseno and sophomore Allie Szech — helped Team USA win the gold medal at this summer’s Pan Am Cup.

    This year’s schedule features three nationally televised matches (beyond the Bears’ usual Big 12 Now on ESPN+ lineup) and a non-conference schedule which will welcome Power-5 opponents Washington State and Ohio State to the Ferrell Center.

    The season officially begins Aug. 25 in Minneapolis against Wisconsin, with the home opener coming Sept. 1 against Rice at the Ferrell Center. Tickets are available online now.

    Sic ’em, Baylor Volleyball!