Baylor volleyball set to host Miami (OH) in NCAA tournament opener
The Baylor Lady Bears volleyball team will host Miami (Ohio) this Friday after earning back-to-back postseason berths for the first time in school history.
Baylor (23-6) finished with its best regular-season record since 1999, winning 11 of the last 13 matches to finish second in the Big 12 behind Texas.
"(Texas is) ranked number two for a reason," Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre said. "The teams that are all coming in here, they're all winners. They've either won their conference tournament or they're playing in a tough conference where they're battling great teams all the time. Texas was definitely a great tuneup for us. Hopefully we did the same for them. At this point, we can't lose anymore."
The Baylor-Miami winner will advance to play either Colorado (22-9) or James Madison (23-5) in a second-round matchup Saturday at 8 p.m.
The Lady Bears are led by freshman Yossiana Pressley and senior Katie Staiger. Pressley was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year after leading Baylor with 360 kills. Staiger was right behind her with 355 and also missed four matches earlier this season.
Shelly Fanning and Aniah Philo have been solid contributors in the attacking game as well. Fanning, who missed the entire 2016 season because of an injury suffered in the preseason, was the most efficient hitter with a .378 attack percentage.
"It really is a special opportunity," Fanning said. "It's going to be fun having a different role this tournament season but I thought it was just as special last season watching my teammates play the game they love. Being able to be a part of that in either role is pretty awesome."