Walk-on thriving for Baylor volleyball team

Discipline and patience are two qualities Tara Wulf learned from her parents, Kit and Pamela, who have both served in the United States Army.

That's the main reason Tara has lived in five states -- New York, Hawai'i, Washington, Texas and Virginia. She had volleyball scholarship offers from schools all over the country like Charlotte, Montana State and American University, but was called by the Lord to walk-on at Baylor.

"I wouldn't say I expected to play, but I knew that I was good enough to be here," Wulf said. "I wouldn't be here if I wasn't. I was going to work hard (and) work my butt off."

Wulf made appearances in 34 matches as a freshman, with her main duties as a serving specialist. She played just five sets as a sophomore in 2017 because of a talent-filled roster that included Jana Brusek, who finished with the second-most career digs in Baylor program history.

Now a junior, Wulf's work ethic and team-first mentality helped her solidify her role as the team's top libero in 2018.

"To have a walk-on out there who's one of the top five, top four in the conference is exciting," Baylor volleyball head coach Ryan McGuyre said. "I think it's a testament to our coaching staff, training and Tara's relentlessness over the past couple of years. It didn't happen overnight."

The former three-year starter at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia, recently set season-highs relatively close to her hometown when Baylor knocked off West Virginia in five sets. Wulf came up with one kill, four points and three aces, as well as 21 digs, which is the third-highest total she's recorded this season.

It's been a memorable month -- and year -- for Wulf, who not only continues to strengthen her relationship with Jesus Christ, but also received a surprise visit from some familiar faces when Baylor played West Virginia.

"Three of my high school best friends, actually, I hadn't seen them in two years," Wulf said. "They surprised me at that game. I saw their signs from across the gym, and I was so, so happy to see them."