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Baylor Volleyball

Preview: No. 13 Baylor Volleyball Prepares for Iowa State Trip

September 27, 2022

WACO, Texas — The No. 13 Baylor Volleyball team (11-2, 1-0) is on the road in Ames, Iowa this Wednesday night to take on the Iowa State Cyclones (8-6, 0-1) after a weekend off.

The Bears are coming off of a conference-opening win against TCU a week ago. That win gave head coach Ryan McGuyre 500 career victories as a collegiate women’s volleyball coach.

“Milestones are fun,” said McGuyre, “They're markers of where we are in life. So I do enjoy it. To me it is fun that it happened with TCU and [former BU associate head coach] Jason [Williams], because he was a big part of it.”

McGuyre was, as always, looking forward, but not just to the next opponent. He looked further into the future of his career commenting: “Looking forward to the day where, again Lord willing, the majority of my coaching time was here at Baylor, because this is a place I want to be connected with.”

With that sincere remark, coaches and players soon turned to the upcoming road trip to Iowa State. 

“This really, in a fun way, is a big test,” said coach McGuyre, “Because it's only our second true road match. You know, we were neutral site with Minnesota, Wisconsin, and then I felt like we did not perform well at Pepperdine.”

Alexis Dacosta, Sophia Keene and the whole team are acutely aware of this. Though they are young and growing pains can be expected in some regards, the nerves and passiveness will need to be worked past quickly to accomplish the team’s goals.

“We both came in the spring and I remember our first spring game, we were praying and our hands were so sweaty. We were so nervous,” said Doacosta of Keene and herself. “So definitely it's a big relief now. We're definitely more into it and used to it now.”

Though some residual nervousness might hang around, especially in new environments like Iowa — a state that Dacosta says she’s never even been to before — both players are confident in the team’s ability to help each other out and overcome.

“Our bench always hypes us up. No matter what, we're always there for each other,” said Keene. 

Turning to the opponent now, the Cyclones opened Big 12 play last weekend with a loss to TCU, so the Bears have reason for some confidence as they head north.

Coach McGuyre, who also spoke to the thorough strength of the conference said this of Iowa State:

“They've got live arms. They're really athletic and they always play great defense and scheme well against teams. So our ability to serve tough to limit their options, and then the physicality of our block, I hope to be disruptive and either take away the power when they're trying to hit or force them into uncomfortable shots.”

To prepare his team, McGuyre has continued to emphasize speed in many ways during practice. Specifically speed in learning, diagnosing and decisiveness were mentioned among many other categories of speed necessary to playing championship volleyball.

If they do that, then one scenario that McGuyre put out there today could become reality.

“Hopefully we can pull away maybe us and Texas, top two, and everyone else, I feel like we could split with each other. I can see everyone going .500.”

But that all starts with going 1-0 in Ames on Wednesday night.

The game is scheduled to start at 8 PM CST and will be televised on ESPN 2.

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Preview: No. 13 Baylor Volleyball Prepares for Iowa State Trip

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