Cowgirls Pick Up Road Win in Five Sets

photo courtesy of UW Athletics Department

by staff–16 Sep ’16

The University of Wyoming volleyball team defeated Idaho in five sets on Thursday night at the Idaho Volleyball Classic. The Cowgirls came away with the victory (26-24, 21-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11) in what was the first match this season UW (6-5) went to a fifth and deciding set.

With the win over Idaho, UW has now won eight of its last nine matches on Thursday nights and nine of its last ten against current Big Sky Conference members. Additionally, it is the 300th career victory for head coach Chad Callihan.

Redshirt freshman Bayly Poor led the balanced offensive attack with a career-high 13 kills, and also added five digs. Junior defensive specialist and Idaho native, Lily Austin had a career-high 21 digs against the Vandals, while senior Kayla Slofkiss recorded her first double-double of the season with 11 kills and ten digs. Senior setter Courtney Chacon passed out 33 assists in addition to her 17 digs for what was her second double-double of the year, as both senior Laura Beach and sophomore Emily Lewis chipped in eight kills. It was Chacon’s fifth set this season with at least 30 assists.

Sophomore Reed Copeland tied her season-high with a match-best eight total blocks for the Cowgirls. She also smashed home six kills. Additionally, freshman Tara Traphagan recorded a season-high six kills against Idaho, while fellow freshman Madi Fields also had a career-high nine digs.

In what was a back-and-forth first set, Wyoming crawled back, kept its composure and stayed focused to win, 26-24, after Idaho had set point, 24-21. The first stanza had eight tied scores and four lead changes. Poor recorded a team-best five kills in the first, while Chacon dished out nine assists.

The second set went to the Vandals, 25-21. UW had previously won 13 sets in a row before Idaho hit .233 compared to Wyoming’s .226. The Vandals also had 16 kills to UW’s ten, and five more assists than UW, 14-9. Poor had four kills to lead the Cowgirl attack against Idaho in the second frame, as Beach had three and Chacon dished out seven assists.

Idaho had leads of 12-5 and 21-19 before they eventually claimed the third, 25-23, to take a 2-1 set lead. The Vandals momentum continued into the fourth set, as Idaho jumped out to a 7-4 lead before UW called timeout. The Cowgirls would tie the set at 16 and never look back. Wyoming won the set, 25-20, as Traphagan, Lewis and Poor each recorded three kills in the fourth stanza. Senior leadership led the way during the fifth and final set, as Slofkiss had a team-best four kills. Chacon had five assists, while Austin recorded seven digs to help UW seal the victory over the Vandals.

Wyoming will close out the Idaho Volleyball Classic today with matches against Oregon State at 11 a.m. MT, and Tennessee Tech at 5 p.m.