Cowgirl Volleball Ends 30-Year Post-Season Drought; Sweeps Northwestern State

Tracy Ringolsby

From the desk of Kevin DeVries/Wyoming Athletic Department

LARAMIE – For the first time since 1989, they Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team won a national postseason tournament match, as the Cowgirls swept Northwestern State Thursday night in Laramie in the opening round of the NIVC Tournament. Set scores went 25-22, 25-16 and 25-19.

“We scored pretty well tonight,” said Head Coach Chad Callihan.

“Overall, I think the break hurt us with the number of days that we had off. Northwestern State had a conference tournament so while we were on our break, they were actually playing. I think some of that rust showed tonight.”

KC McMahon had a stellar night offensively, as she led the way with a match-high 17 kills, just one off her career-high of 18. McMahon also hit a team-best .500 on the night. Halie McArdle and Jackie McBride notched nine and eight kills, respectively in the win. Tara Traphagan chipped in with six on the night.

Mackenzie Coates spearheaded the dangerous attack in the win for the Cowgirls as she recorded 33 assists to go along with six digs and two total blocks. McBride led UW at the net defensively with five blocks.

In the back row, Madi Fields added to her program record for career digs as she notched 17 in the win and now has 1,737 over her four years. McArdle and Erika Jones were also solid defensively in the sweep, tallying nine and six digs, respectively.

The Cowgirls (22-8) came out on fire to begin the night, hitting .379 in the opening set and then topped that with a .381 clip in the final set, on their way to a .357 night hitting as a team. Northwestern State (20-13) hit .209 as a team. Wyoming also had a big edge in blocks as the Cowgirls had six team blocks to the Lady Demons’ three. The Cowgirls were also superior in the serving game as well, as they recorded five aces to NSU’s two. The Lady Demons also committed more service errors (10-7) on the night.

“It was nice to get back out there and it’s nice to still be playing, it’s fun to have another match with all of the girls, not just the seniors. This senior group has been fantastic, they’ve been through a lot here and they’ve really helped us establish our culture here and what we’re trying to achieve and work toward. As I’ve said all season, I just really enjoy this group, they’ve got some fun personalities to be around, so any day I can be in the gym with this group is a good thing.” continued Callihan.

The win was Wyoming’s eighth consecutive victory, tying for the fifth-highest mark in program history. The Cowgirls will move on to the second round of the NIVC Tournament to face Weber State at 6:30 p.m., Friday at the UniWyo. The Wildcats advanced to the second round with a four-set victory over Boise State earlier in the night.

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