Baylor volleyball will look to build on its best record in nearly a decade this fall, as head coach Jim Barnes' squad welcomes one of the highest-ranked signing classes in program history to Waco.
The Bears return a pair of first-team All-Big 12 selections in seniors Taylor Barnes and Anna Breyfogle from the squad that finished 18-13 last season, narrowly missing an NCAA Tournament selection. Barnes, a setter, begins the year fourth in Baylor history in assists and service aces, while Breyfogle, a middle blocker, has led the Big 12 in blocks per set two years running. The team's third senior, outside hitter Katie Sanders, ranks eighth in program history in career kills.
In all, 11 letterwinners remain from a year ago. They'll be joined by a group of incoming freshmen that was ranked 14th in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com. Headlining the group is 2008 Texas Gatorade Player of the Year Torri Campbell, the nation's No. 30 high school prospect and one of the top middle blockers in the country. Outside hitters Zoe Adom and Kiley Sherman round out the freshman class. One other newcomer, middle blocker Elizabeth Graham, transferred to Baylor after two years at Texas.
Second-year head coach Marci Jobson will see the fruits of her first recruiting class when the Baylor soccer team hits the field in August.
Jobson's squad will need name tags when practice starts, as 19 returners meet the program's 15 newcomers. Despite finishing last season 5-11-3, the Bears will look to build on their final performance of 2008, when they battled then-No. 8 Texas to a 0-0 tie in Austin.
Baylor will look for offense from the newcomers, as last year's squad more than held its own defensively, allowing just 1.21 goals per game; that average was the Bears' best since their Big 12 Championship season of 1998. Freshman forwards Dana Larsen and Hanna Gilmore have turned heads in preseason drills, working well together and showing excellent goal-scoring potential. As a plus, the team does return four of its top five scorers from a year ago.