Cowgirl Volleyball Getting Some Young Talent to Step Up

photo courtesy of UW Athletics Department

by Keith Kelley–22 Sep ’21

The Wyoming Cowgirls are finding out a lot about their depth this volleyball season. The Cowgirls are getting ready for the Mountain West season, after finishing the non-conference 8-4. Last weekend, when they needed someone to step up, freshman outside hitter Teresa Garza stepped up. Garza had a career-high 12 kills in a win over Wichita State, and head coach Chad Callihan said it was great to see such a young player step up in a key situation.

“She’s just a good, talented kid. We’ve got some options that we have not had in the past. So to be able to look down the bench when someone’s struggling, and call on someone like Teresa is a real benefit,” said Callihan. “She’s still a freshman, so she’s still–match to match–she returned, we played her in the afternoon match, and we didn’t have quite the same result. But, she showed her ability and talent level in that Wichita State match, and really gave us a nice left, both offensively and from the service line. She went on some really nice service runs for us.”

Another player that the Cowgirls are counting on is as talented as they’ve had, according to Callihan. Naya Shime’ is second on the team in kills, with 92, through a dozen matches. That includes a career-high 18 in the win over South Dakota last weekend. Callihan says that Shime’ is still trying to learn how to be that all-around player they need.

“Her talent level is way up there. She’s just trying to continue to learn the nuances of the game, and how to be a good, all-around player. But from a physicality standpoint, she can do some things that we haven’t really had at the pen in the past. It was really nice to see her gain confidence, and to see her put a good match together, because I think that’s what she needs to develop. I think she needs to see some success to begin to feel good about things.”

The Cowgirls open up Mountain West play tomorrow (Thursday) evening, when they host Utah St. at 6:30 pm.