Baylor volleyball (22-12) saw its season come to a close with a three-set loss to the hosts, No. 10 UCLA Bruins (26-6), 21-25, 20-25, 20-25, on Saturday evening in Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus.
After winning the team’s first postseason match since 2009, a five-set grinder with No. 14 San Diego on Friday, the Bears couldn’t repeat the upset bid of the Bruins to advance to the Regional round.
Aniah Philo (16 kills) paced the Bears on offense, tying her career-high kill mark, set last season against Wake Forest before Philo transferred from Louisville.
Despite hitting an effective .205 in the match, BU couldn’t slow the UCLA offense, with the Bruins posting a modest .261 hitting clip.
Senior setter Morgan Reed (37 assists, 10 digs) posted a double-double in her final collegiate match, leading both sides in the assist column.
• Katie Staiger (698 kills in 2016) finished the season just two kills shy of the Big 12 single-season kills record, posting the second-highest kill total in Big 12 history, sitting at third in the nation in total kills, and setting a new program single-season record.
• Senior Alex Banister posted two digs in her final match in a Baylor uniform, finishing off her second and final year with the Bears.
• Baylor led in both digs (52-50) and blocks (7.5-6.0) in the match.
STAT OF THE DAY #1
2,073 – the career assists for Morgan Reed, finishing her time in a Baylor uniform with the fifth-most assists in program-history in the rally-scoring era.
STAT OF THE DAY #2
15 – the number of returning players for Baylor for the 2017 season, with the Bears’ led by just two seniors in 2016, Alex Banister and Morgan Reed.
TOP QUOTE #1
“We return everybody, but Morgan and Alex. It was great to see them finish strong. Disappointment is usually the start of a great journey, not the end. We were disappointed when Shelly was hurt, when Tola was hurt, when Jaelyn was hurt. I think we can hold on to the hope that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning. We learned something about ourselves this year as we learned to battle and fight. I talk about how our hard work has to come first and our trust has to come first. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. We’ll know how to work hard and we’re going to get some great talent. Healthy Shelly, healthy Tola, healthy Jaelyn, and some great recruits coming in, as well as the fire and hunger from the disappointment of the girls coming back.” –head coach Ryan McGuyre
TOP QUOTE #2
“So proud of this team this year. The number of wins, the battles, the five set victories we’ve had. From Morgan’s maturity to Jana’s consistency, just the growth we’ve had. It’s a special team for me, just because I’ve learned. They’ve inspired me and I’ve caught myself being discouraged at times, and when you see their resiliency and you see them getting back in the gym going hard, it makes me make sure we’re giving them our best as a staff. It was fun as a staff this year and it was tiring, but these girls are fun to be around.” – head coach Ryan McGuyre
TOP QUOTE #3
“The band and cheerleaders were awesome. I thought that set Baylor apart. San Diego didn’t invest in that. It feels good to be loved. To feel loved when you’re not at full strength makes some good things happen. To have the band and cheerleaders there walking out of the hotel was awesome. Little thigns make big things. Baylor and volleyball has grown so much, this is my second season. The investment they’ve put into these girls has turned into a difference maker for us as a team and for the girls.” – head coach Ryan McGuyre on the support of the band, cheerleaders, and the Baylor community
TOP QUOTE #4
“It contributes a lot. It helps us, it’s an advantage for us. We won the first round because we had the band for us, we had the cheerleaders for us. We had a crowd of fans that were cheering us on. We also had the fans, like our families, our parents, our cousins. It’s an advantage for us and it definitely helped boost our game.” – sophomore Aniah Philo on having the band and cheerleaders in the gym
Baylor turns the page over to the 2017 spring and fall seasons, with 15 returning players and a strong crop of recruits with eyes set on a deeper run in NCAA postseason.