Despite seeing its 10-game winning streak come to an end with Saturday’s four-set loss at No. 8 Kansas, the Baylor volleyball team (14-5, 2-1) has plenty of reasons to be confident going into Wednesday’s 6 p.m. match at home against TCU.
“I think we still have that (confidence),” junior outside hitter Katie Staiger said. “I think we’re coming off the loss knowing that if we are playing our best, the way we should be, then we can and should win.” While several players recorded season and career highs, the Bears weren’t able to do enough to slow down an explosive Kansas offense.
“Kansas is a top-10 team for a reason, and they made it to the Final Four for a reason,” head coachRyan McGuyre said. “This season is about finding a way. We’re going to take some dings in these sets, but we’re going to keep getting better as the match goes on.”
With Baylor needing to respond after the loss to the Jayhawks, the match against TCU is as good a time as any to show that the Bears haven’t lost their competitive edge. That natural rivalry between the Big 12’s two private schools seems to have McGuyre’s team more motivated than ever.
“We get excited about every Big 12 game,” Staiger said. “But, everyone seems to either know someone on TCU or have a reason to want to beat them. (Against Kansas), we were hitting really well, and we were moving the ball around really well. I think it gave some insight to what weare capable of.”
Junior Camry Freiberg will try to replicate the success she showed against Kansas, when she notched a career-high 14 kills and a .542 hitting percentage. Against a tough 10-4 Horned Frog team, execution will be critical for Freiberg and her team’s success.
“All of volleyball is still about serve and pass – 90 percent of the coaches are going to tell you that,” McGuyre said. “So, those are areas that I feel we’re good at, but we want to be great consistently more often.”
TCU is 3-1 in conference play under second-year head coach Jill Kramer. The Horned Frogs have five starters returning from last year and have out-blocked their opponents in 13 of 14 matches.
That could put some extra pressure on the Baylor defense, but McGuyre has good reason to believe his players will be up to the challenge. Freshman Tara Wulf had a season-high 13 digs and will contribute immensely to the defensive effort along with junior libero Jana Brusek.
Designated as the team’s Dig Pink Match, Wednesday’s game will help promote breast cancer awareness. Tiffany Greene and Dain Blanton will call the action for the national broadcast on ESPNU.
Baylor volleyball (14-5, 2-1) will face off with the TCU Horned Frogs (10-4, 3-1) on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. in the Ferrell Center.
The Bears continue through one of the toughest stretches in its conference schedule, fresh off a meeting with the No. 8 Kansas squad in Lawrence.
The BU side had a 10-match winning streak snapped, a program-best since the 2009 season.
Facing TCU in the Wednesday match, the Bears have an opportunity to defeat a top-20 RPI team for the third time in the last four weeks, after notching wins over Washington State (No. 9) and Kansas State (No. 16).
The midweek match will be aired nationally on ESPNU and the WatchESPN app. The on-air talent will feature Tiffany Greene and Dain Blanton.
For this and all other Baylor home matches, fans can tune into the live internet audio broadcast on BaylorBears.com/allaccess.
Keep up with the team all season long by following Baylor Volleyball’s official accounts on Twitter (@BaylorVball), Facebook (Baylor Volleyball), Instagram (@BaylorVolleyball), and Snapchat (@BaylorVball).
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
Ferrell Center | Waco, Texas
Audio: BaylorBears.com (Paid)
Talent: Larry Little
TV: ESPNU / WatchESPN App
Talent: Tiffany Greene and Dain Blanton
Live Stats: BaylorBears.com
2015 Record: 17-13
2016 Record: 14-5
2016 Big 12 Record: 2-1
Head Coach: Ryan McGuyre (2nd season)
All-Time Record vs. TCU: 10-6
All-Time Record vs. TCU in WACO: 5-2
TCU HORNED FROGS
2015 Record: 19-10
2016 Record: 10-4
2016 Big 12 Record: 3-1
Head Coach: Jill Kramer (2nd season)
Courtesy of and written by John Shellenberger/Baylor Athletics.