WACO, Texas – Baylor volleyball has finalized its 2017 roster with 14 returners and six newcomers. The Bears received top 20 recognition from VolleyMag.com, applauding the incoming freshman class.
"We hit a home run with this recruiting class. Each athlete is an impact player in their own way,” head coach Ryan McGuyre said.
The incoming class is highlighted by Fab 50 pick and Under Armour All-American Yossi Pressley, an outside hitter from Cypress, Texas. Pressley is the fifth Fab 50 pick in program history and first since 2009. Pressley was ranked No. 31 in Prep Volleyball’s Senior Aces.
Setter Hannah Lockin enrolled at Baylor in the spring to take part in the spring camp schedule and team workouts. Lockin, a four-year letterwinner at Valley High School, was named a 2016-17 AVCA Under Armour All-American after she helped lead her team to the school’s first state semifinals finish.
“Yossi brings high flying explosiveness with a burning desire to improve and definitely a future All-American caliber athlete,” McGuyre said. “Hannah Lockin is a swift and physical setter. She can distribute the ball from anywhere and adds an offensive threat with strong blocking abilities.”
The top 20 recruiting class includes Lexie Rawls, a libero/defensive specialist from Lubbock, Texas. Rawls helped guide the Lions of Trinity Christian High School to three TAPPS 4A state championships, earning all-tournament honors in 2015 and 2016.
Originally from the Netherlands, Marieke van der Mark will play outside hitter for the Bears after earning All-America status her senior season.
Taylor Marburger, a defensive specialist/setter from McAllen, Texas, guided her team to back-to-back state quarterfinal appearances. Mackenzie Snowden was a part of the Plano Senior High School squad that advanced to the state playoffs every year while she was on the roster.
“Marieke brings length and power with a competitive spirit. A 6'6" lefty will add strength to our offensive and blocking schemes. Mackenzie, Taylor and Lexi bring increased ball control and service weapons. Most importantly all of these girls embody the servant-leader spirit of Baylor Volleyball."
The recruiting class joins 14 returners who advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011, including three starters who return from injury – middle blockers Tola Itiola and Jaelyn Jackson and outside hitter Shelly Fanning.
"I'm extremely excited for this class and truly enjoyed the process of recruiting each and every one them,” assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Sam Erger said. “Our fans should really be looking forward to seeing what this 2017 class brings to the court and I think they are going to love it.”
Advancing to the NCAA Second Round last season, the Bears look to earn back-to-back NCAA appearances for the first time in program history.
Fans can get a first glimpse at the team during the annual Green and Gold Scrimmage on Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Ferrell Center. The squad officially opens the season as hosts of the Hampton Inn Waco North Baylor Invitational, facing Florida State on Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.