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Baylor Volleyball

Preview: Baylor Volleyball Starts Season Against Top 5 Minnesota and Wisconsin

August 25, 2022

Baylor Volleyball is in Forth Worth to start their season Friday against No. 5 Minnesota at 4 PM CST. Saturday they play No. 3 Wisconsin at 4 PM CST again in Fort Worth.

Here is what head coach Ryan McGuyre had to say about his team and the opponents at media availability yesterday:

On the tough early schedule: “Open up two top-five ranked opponents that are going to be in the mix for a national championship. That's our goal. That's our dream... You play the game to be tested and see where you're at. So I'd like to see some of our strengths, really maintain and push through that.”

On developments in this year’s team: “We do have a lot of length, so we think defensively we can be disruptive up above the net and press into the other side. I think we've got plenty of scorers and our middles have looked really strong in the green and gold and exhibition and everything. So for our middles to probably have a bigger influence on the match offensively than what we've seen over the last couple of years are really exciting things for me.”

On what they can take away from these early tough matches: “I think we can take away a lot... Between now and the next time we might see them could be a final four, could be a regional final. Who's working harder and who's getting better? I love the rate that this team is improving, but we gotta, to really be there at the end, we gotta maintain this rate.”

On who might step up for the team: “I think like an Averi Carlson is a freshman setting right away. That's what we had Hannah [Sedwick] do as a freshman setting right away. So which hitters will be the ones with her forever, for a long time? I think Allie Sczech has been looking really good in practices. And Elise [McGhee], Riley Simpson as a freshman, it could be the same combo... we're thinking about man, these two have been playing together for four years, three years.”

Who might step up this year continued: “As far as firepower, you know, Lauren Harrison is a returning All-American and she's got one of the heaviest arms in the gym and the country for us. So she's gonna continue to dominate and do well. And like I said, the position we're not young in is our middles. So all our middles are looking good and Kara [McGhee] coming into her own, and fifth-year transfer Mallory Talbert is looking really good... but to be determined... I think there's a lot of potential.”

On Averi Carlson: “Spring helped her for sure. But Avery – that's the Gatorade national player of the year, and she's a humble warrior. She is very consistent in who she is. I don't have to worry about nerves or anything with her. You talk about speed of learning as a competitive advantage and she's one of the quickest learners I've ever coached for her ability already, even prior to coming to see the game and understanding the flow instinctively. Brilliant setter.”

On Carlson vs Pressley: “Where [Yossiana Pressley] was jumping and thumping and flying and... there's kind of a wow at the physicality of it. For Avery, to me, there's a wow when it comes to the volleyball IQ part of it.”

On being more middle focused: “Yeah, it definitely opens up the pins. That's the name of the game and it can work both ways, but as they're trying to double up on middles or slow the middles down then yeah, it makes it easier to set the pins and get them more available. So it's important that our first touches are even more crisp this year. Off of serve-receive to keep those middles alive the first... for soft blocking or digging.”

On Minnesota: “Minnesota's got both their starting pins coming back and pretty athletic, incoming class as well on the, on the attacker side. We thought we matched up in the middle well last year with them, but they have some middle transfers that are a lot more offensive as well.”

On Wisconsin: “Wisconsin reloads, they got a national championship team with some, some key returners. I know they did graduate a lot, but they have some key pieces that are coming back as well. Kind of everyone seemed to transfer around the big 10. Their Polish outside was maybe underrated last year.  I expected her to take on a bigger role as, as the other people have graduated and come in.

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Preview: Baylor Volleyball Starts Season Against Top 5 Minnesota and Wisconsin

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