Cowgirls Drop Tough Match on the Road

photo courtesy of UW Athletics Department

by staff–7 Oct ’16

Despite double-doubles from seniors Kayla Slofkiss and Courtney Chacon, the University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team fell short in a 3-1 (19-25, 23-25, 27-25, 14-25) loss to UNLV on the road Thursday evening.

“We had talked all week about what would be important when competing against UNLV,” UW head coach Chad Callihan said. “I thought we fought hard all night, but just couldn’t find any rhythm with our execution.”

Chacon recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 30 assists and 12 digs. She also had a career-high four blocks against the league-leading UNLV Rebels. Slofkiss had a match and season-high 16 kills in addition to her 11 digs for the Cowgirls (10-7, 3-1 MW). It was the third double-double of her senior season. Fellow senior Laura Beach tied her season-high with 13 kills. She also had three digs and three blocks during the match.

Freshman Madi Fields posted a career-high 18 digs for the Cowgirls, which led both teams. Fields also added a career-high six assists against UNLV (16-1, 5-0 MW). Sophomore Reed Copeland led both squads with five total blocks. Copeland chipped in five kills, while freshman Tara Traphagan added four for UW.

Wyoming and the Rebels went back and forth early in the first set. UNLV proceeded to find its rhythm and claimed two straight points to make the first set score, 9-5, before UW took its first timeout. Six service aces in the opening set helped the Rebels take the opening frame, 25-19. Slofkiss had her first three kills, while Fields had five digs to lead UW.

Wyoming stormed out to a 6-1 lead in the second set before Copeland recorded back-to-back blocks to extend UW’s lead, 12-7. The Rebels brought a bit of a spark late in the second set and cut UW’s lead to three, 20-17, before UNLV tied it at 21. The Rebels never looked back, claimed the second set by a score of 25-23, and took a 2-0 lead at the break. Chacon recorded 11 assists in set number two, as Beach had a team-best five kills.

After intermission, Wyoming claimed leads of 3-1 and 6-4 before UNLV tied it at seven. The biggest advantage in the entire set was no larger than two as both UNLV and Wyoming fought evenly throughout. Tied at 25, kills from Beach and Slofkiss sealed the set victory for UW. Wyoming climbed back to claim its lone set by a score of 27-25. Slofkiss recorded five kills in the third, while Fields had six digs and Chacon had seven assists. The Rebels execution lead them to 6-2, 15-10 and 20-14 leads in the fourth and final set. Slofkiss led the team with five digs and four kills in the last frame, as Chacon dished out nine assists. UNLV took the set, 25-14, for their first win against the Cowgirls in five tries.

Wyoming continues it road trip and will next compete at New Mexico on Saturday. First serve is set for 12 p.m. MT.