No. 2 Baylor Volleyball’s Defense Overpowers Cyclones in 3-0 Win

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Baylor University Press Release

By: Max Calderone

AMES, Iowa – No. 2 Baylor volleyball (9-1) overpowered Iowa State (2-6) Saturday at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, earning its ninth-straight victory 25-22, 25-20, 25-20.

The Bears recorded a season-high 13 blocks with sophomore Kara McGhee assisting on a career-high 11 of them, overwhelming the Cyclones offense to the tune of a meager .078 attack percentage. BU made up for its own .145 efficiency with 51 digs to counter ISU’s 48.

Baylor fell behind early in the first set but rattled off a three-point run to tie things at 13-13 with a kill by Yossiana Pressley. The Bears took their first lead of the night at 18-17 thanks to a Cyclone attack error. McGhee and Marieke van der Mark teamed up for a critical double block one point later to give BU some momentum, and McGhee combined with AJ Koele and Lauren Harrison for two more double blocks to wrap up the first set in Baylor’s favor.

In the second, the Bears led 6-2 thanks to a pair of van der Mark kills and two more double blocks. The Cyclones would fight back, tying the set at 9-9 before BU regained its rhythm with kills by Harrison and Pressley that made it 13-11 and 14-12. McGhee continued to be a force, putting one down at 20-16 and Shanel Bramschreiber tallied the Bears’ first ace for set point.

Pressley’s third-set kill at 8-4 gave Baylor some breathing room, and ISU could not find a way to avoid the Bears block, as McGhee assisted on another three in the set. She would also find the floor at 21-17, holding off any hopes of an ISU comeback.

Three Bears produced double-digit digs in Callie Williams (14), Emily Van Slate (11) and Bramschreiber (11), two of which were career-highs. Pressley led all players with 12 kills and four Bears collected at least seven: Pressley (12), McGhee (9), Harrison (8), van der Mark (7).

To stay up to date throughout the season on all things Baylor volleyball, follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @BaylorVBall.


• Baylor extended its winning streak to nine matches.

• The Bears earned their seventh sweep of the season and fourth on the road.

• BU held its opponent below a .170 attack percentage for the seventh time this season, as Iowa State hit just .078.

• The Bears tallied a season-high 13 blocks as a team.

• Sophomore Kara McGhee recorded a career-high 11 blocks, one shy of Baylor’s 3-set match record (12, Anna Breyfogle).

• McGhee is the first Baylor player to tally at least 10 blocks since Shelly Fanning had 10 vs. Hawaii on Nov. 29, 2018.

• Callie Williams posted 29 assists and a career-high 14 digs for her fourth-consecutive double-double, and fifth of the season.

• Emily Van Slate produced a career-high 11 digs. 

• AJ Koele collected the first block of her Baylor career. 

11 – Number of blocks by Kara McGhee, a career-best.

Head coach Ryan McGuyre

On tonight’s match…
“Super impressed with our floor defense. I thought our entire back row did a really, really good job keeping the ball off the floor. Our offense struggled at times but we were able to keep [Iowa State] hitting negative between our blocking and the type of digs we were getting off the floor.”

Sophomore MB Kara McGhee

On her 11-block performance…

“I’ve just been focusing and keying in on what we’ve been working on in practice. Really just going all in and playing one way helped me to make an impact tonight.”

Baylor (9-1) returns home to Waco for a two-match set against West Virginia (5-3) on Oct. 29-30. Thursday’s contest will air at 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU, while Friday’s series closer will get started at 5 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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