• Eighth Straight Dance: Baylor Volleyball extends NCAA tournament streak

    Baylor volleyball players celebrating a point on the court

    The 2023 Baylor Volleyball team began the year notable for its youth — a roster without a senior, but with six freshmen, many of whom played key roles. But head coach Ryan McGuyre’s squad didn’t let their lack of experience (and significant injuries) deter them from earning the program’s eighth straight NCAA tournament berth, extending a streak that has become the norm for one of the nation’s top programs.

    The Bears will head to Lexington, Ky., this week after earning an at-large bid to the 2023 NCAA Volleyball Tournament. There, they’ll play James Madison, the No. 7 seed in their quadrant, on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. A win would likely match the Bears up with the host school, No. 8-ranked Kentucky.

    A win over No. 22 Houston concluded the regular season for the 23rd-ranked Bears. The victory closed out Baylor’s regular season record at 16-12, an impressive mark against a challenging schedule in which exactly half their games (14 of 28) came against teams that made this year’s tournament (including six Big 12 opponents).

    The Bears are led by junior outside hitter Elise McGhee, who is finished among the Big 12’s top 10 in kills and points per set, while sophomore setter Averi Carlson finished third in assists per set. Despite an injury to star freshman Kyndal Stowers, who also finished the season in the top 10 in the conference in kills and points per set, the Bears made it through that gauntlet to the postseason.

    This year marks Baylor volleyball’s 12th all-time NCAA tournament selection, with eight of those (67%) coming under McGuyre. (For comparison, Scott Drew has led Baylor men’s basketball to 11 of their 15 all-time NCAA tournament appearances — only just ahead of McGuyre at 73%.)

    Sic ’em, Baylor Volleyball!