Baylor volleyball coach Ryan McGuyre has repeatedly professed his desire to give his players “the best volleyball experience of their lives.”
Winning the program’s first Big 12 title would probably qualify.
The No. 1-ranked Bears have a chance to accomplish exactly that feat when they host TCU in their regular-season finale at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Ferrell Center. Baylor (24-1 overall, 14-1 Big 12) can sew up no less than a share of the conference crown with a win over the Frogs, whereas a Baylor win and an unlikely Texas loss at Iowa State would give the Bears the title outright.
“We are all very blessed because of the incredible amount of time, leadership, service and energy that so many servants of Baylor have poured into us,” McGuyre said. “We now have an opportunity to make history and accomplish something never done before at Baylor.”
It’s already been a special season for Baylor, the most successful regular season in program history. The Bears have bounded their way to wins over six ranked teams in 2019. That includes a five-set win over previous No. 1 Texas on Nov. 20 for the program’s first win over the Longhorns in 18 years.
It’ll also be Senior Day at the Ferrell Center, as Baylor will honor its six departing seniors following the match. The group is comprised of Shelly Stafford, Braya Hunt, Tara Wulf, Gia Milana, Nicole Thomas and Hannah Fluegel.
You’d need a fleet of 18-wheelers to haul all of their honors and achievements. To wit – they’ve combined for more than 2,500 career kills, 700 assists, 2,500 digs and 190 aces during their time for the Bears. They own a 90-29 career record and will be the first group of seniors to reach the NCAA tournament all four years of their time at Baylor.
And yet their impact stretches far beyond numbers or awards, McGuyre said.
“This opportunity did not happen overnight, but began many years ago with these beautiful seniors,” the coach said. “Their commitment and devotion to Christ and each other has inspired many and has truly turned us into a team that is victorious on the court and victorious in how they impact those around them.
Bear Facts: A Baylor win would give the Bears a perfect 13-0 record at home this season. Baylor could also match the school record for wins in a regular season with 25, as it also won that many in 1999. … The Bears have won the last five meetings with TCU. … The NCAA Volleyball Tournament selection show is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU. Baylor should be a lock to host at the start of the tournament, and should land one of the top four national seeds.