Cowgirls Volleyball Closes Out Home Season with Sweep of Utah State
From the desk of Kevin DeVries/Wyoming Athletic Department
LARAMIE – The Wyoming vollyeball team celebrated its final home match of the season with a sweep of Utah State by scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 25-8 in the UniWyo Sports Complex on Friday night.
The Cowgirls are 19-4 overall and 14-2 in the Mountain West, a franchise record for conference victories in a season.
The Cowgirls got off to a slow start in the first set Friday, trailing for much of the set and falling behind 16-12 t one point. However, after a UW timeout, the Cowgirls went on a 5-0 run to take a 17-16 lead and then lengthened their advantage down the stretch, closing on a 8-3 run from that point on.
“I thought we played ok, I thought we were a little emotional,” said Head Coach Chad Callihan.
“You could probably see some of those unforced errors early. But, this is a good group and they’ve been through it so they understand how to come around and relax and I thought they did that. It was a nice way to close it out there in the third set.”
In the second set, again the Aggies (2-26, 2-14 MW) got out to a strong start and led 6-3. However, in the second, the Cowgirls came around earlier and took the lead for good in the set at 13-12 and led by as many as six, 24-18. The third set was all business for Wyoming as the Cowgirls held their first opponent of the season to a single-digit set, closing out the match in style.
Halie McArdle and Tara Traphagan led the way with 11 and 10 kills, respectively as they played their final home regular season matches Firday. McArdle also grabbed her third double-double of the season as she added 11 digs. KC McMahon chipped in with nine kills in the sweep while Jackie McBride added eight on a .400 hitting percentage.
Mackenzie Coates tallied the Cowgirls’ second double-double in the match as she led the way with 33 assists and added 11 digs. Coates also had a pair of blocks and a service ace in the win. Traphagan, along with Faith Waitsman led with three total blocks while McArdle had a match-high two aces.
The other two seniors, Madi Fields and Kiahlei Yaste also ended their home careers in style as Fields notched 18 digs in the three sets and Yaste added eight and an ace.
“This team responds well to things and to adversity. They’re a mature group, they get it. They just respond well in those moments where they’re tested,” continued Callihan.
On the night, UW hit .231 and held USU to a .070 hitting percentage. Both teams recorded seven blocks each as the Cowgirls kept pace with a very strong blocking team for the second consecutive night. The Cowgirls ended with four aces and just two errors while the Aggies had just a lone ace and six errors.
Wyoming finishes the season on the road next week as it travels to face Nevada and San Jose State Nov. 21 and 23. The Cowgirls swept both the Wolf Pack and the Spartans earlier this season in Laramie.