Oct. 8, 2013
WACO, Texas – The Baylor volleyball team is still looking for win No. 1 in Big 12 play, and the team will head to Morgantown, W. Va. to try and get it Wednesday at West Virginia. The Mountaineers (15-2, 2-1) will play host to the Bears (8-11, 0-3) at WVU Coliseum at 5:30 p.m., CDT.
The Bears began conference play against perhaps the toughest three opponents in the league beginning with losses to No. 25 Iowa State, No. 4 Texas and Kansas won its ninth-straight match Saturday in a four-set win against Baylor. The 0-3 start marks the third-straight season Baylor has come out of the first three Big 12 matches without a win.
“We’ve started against the top three teams in the league. It’s important we re-focus and have all our attention on WVU,” said Baylor head coach Jim Barnes. “We believe we can beat the next five teams in the conference, but we’ve got to prove it.”
The Bears made quick work of the Mountaineers last season in WVU’s first season in the Big 12. Baylor took three-set matches in each home-and-home meeting with WVU last season. The Mountaineers struggled with an 8-22 overall record and an 0-16 finish in Big 12 play in 2012. However, the Mountaineers are one win away from doubling last year’s overall win total and have begun conference play at 2-1 with wins over Texas Tech and Kansas State.
“Jill [Kramer] has done a great job getting them to believe and work hard. They have had a very friendly schedule so far, but have done what they’ve needed to in those matches,” said Barnes of the Mountaineers.
Statistically, WVU shows to be one of the top defenses in the league ranking first in opponent’s hitting percentage, holding the opposition to just a .139 mark. And, the Mountaineers rank fourth in the Big 12 in blocks per set at 2.61.
Still, Barnes said he likes how Baylor matches up with Wednesday’s opponent.
“We like the matchup. We need to play on the road with a lot of aggressiveness and pass well,” he said. “If we can get our middles attacking and blocking well, it will help our balance.”