For the second time this season, Iowa State faces the Baylor Bears Sunday at 4:00 p.m in Waco, Texas. The Bears are 18-1 (8-1 Big 12) and are in second place out of nine teams in the Big 12. They are also the third-ranked team in the NCAA in the AVCA Coaches poll.
In their meeting in Ames on Oct. 9, the Bears swept the Cyclones 3-0. Since that matchup, the Bears are 4-1; their lone loss came against the Texas Longhorns, who are the top-ranked team in the country.
Iowa State, on the other hand, is 3-2 since playing Baylor. Iowa State is 14-7 (5-4 Big 12) this season and is in fourth place in the conference.
The Cyclones will once again have to look for a way to stop the Bears’ three-headed offensive attack, consisting of junior setter Hannah Locklin, junior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley and redshirt freshman middle blocker Shelly Stafford.
Locklin leads the Big 12 in assists per set with 11.24 to go along with being tied for sixth in the Big 12 in blocks per set with 1.03. Pressley leads the Big 12 in kills per set with 5.54. She also leads in points per set with 5.97 and is tenth in hitting percentage with a percentage of .287. Stafford is first in the Big 12 in hitting percentage at .363 and in ninth in points per set with an average of 3.58.
Baylor is the second-best team in the conference in hitting percentage, with a hitting percentage of .285.
To go along with being a good team on the attack, Baylor has a solid defense as they are first in opponent hitting percentage, only allowing their opponents to hit .155 this season. Against Baylor, Iowa State hit .147.
Baylor’s freshman middle blocker Kara McGhee leads the Big 12 in blocks per set with 1.34. The Bears are also good at digging the ball as two of their players are in the top 10 in digs per set in the Big 12. Locklin is ninth with 2.89 digs per set and senior Libero Tara Wulf is seventh with 3.44 digs per set.
Iowa State is 5-2 on the road this season and Baylor is 9-0 at home. Iowa State’s last win in Waco, was a 3-2 victory in 2016.