Colorado Springs, Colo. (Nov. 16) – The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team earned a straight-set win over Air Force (25-14, 25-12, 25-23) on Wednesday night in Colorado Springs, Colo. It was the 13th sweep of the season for the Brown and Gold, and the sixth on the road. Additionally, Chad Callihan earned his 47th Mountain West victory at Wyoming. He moved past Hall of Fame coach Mike English for the most MW wins in Cowgirl history.
"I thought the team bounced back well this evening," Callihan opened. "We got balanced production offensively and did a nice job of keying in on a players tendencies. I was proud of the effort from this group after this long road swing we have had."
Wyoming (18-11, 11-5 MW) was led by freshman Halie McArdle, who had a career-high nine kills and eight digs against Air Force (10-19, 1-15 MW). Senior Courtney Chacon once again recorded a double-double for the Cowgirls. Chacon had a team-high 26 assists in addition to 10 digs. It was her team-leading tenth double-double of the year. Senior Kayla Slofkiss had 11 digs for UW, as well as seven kills and two blocks. Laura Beach added eight kills and three blocks during the match.
Sophomore Reed Copeland led both teams with eight total blocks. Copeland also chipped in three kills for the Brown and Gold. Freshman Madi Fields had nine digs for Wyoming on Wednesday night as fellow freshman Tara Traphagan added six kills and five blocks.
Set one: A kill from Traphagan gave UW a 5-2 lead to set the tone for Wyoming. Air Force then followed with two straight service errors to further UW’s lead. At the media timeout, Wyoming held a 15-9 lead. McArdle had posted team-high three kills at that point in the set. The Cowgirls recorded 13 kills in the first set as McArdle led the way. Beach, Chacon, Copeland and Traphagan added two kills each. Chacon also posted a set-best eight assists.
Set two: The defensive front made itself well known early in the second set. Copeland and Traphagan recorded two block assists to help the Cowgirls quickly jump out to a 5-1 lead. Wyoming once again had the lead at the media timeout. The third kill from Slofkiss gave Wyoming a 15-7 advantage into the timeout. UW closed out the set on a 10-5 run to take a 2-0 set lead into intermission. Slofkiss, Beach, Traphagan and McArdle each had two kills during the second frame. Chacon dished out six assists and recorded five digs.
Set three: Air Force was able to get itself a 3-1 lead early after the break before Wyoming went a 4-0 run to take a 5-1 lead. The Falcons and Cowgirls battled throughout the third set, as Air Force took a 15-12 lead at the media timeout. Air Force earned its biggest lead of the evening with a 16-12 lead before UW recorded two straight to cut into the Falcon lead. Back and forth followed until UW was able to break away with a 23-21 lead. A kill from Slofkiss gave Wyoming match point before an attacking error gave UW the sweep.
Wyoming will be back in the UniWyo on Friday night for Senior Night. The match against Boise State is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. MT.
-The win was Chad Callihan’s 47th MW victory for most all-time in Wyoming volleyball history. He moved past Hall of Fame coach Mike English.
-Kayla Slofkiss is still tenth all-time with 932 career digs while wearing the Brown and Gold. Jami Laya (1995-98) is ninth with 938 career digs. Additionally, it was the 12th match of the year for Slofkiss with double-digit digs.
-Laura Beach is fifth all-time with 428 total blocks. Reese Plante (2010-13) is fourth all-time with 440 career blocks. Furthermore, Beach is now 35 kills away from 1,000 for her career. She continues to hold the top spot in career hitting percentage (.374) and after tonight’s match, her .411 attacking percentage this year is second-best in a single season.
-Courtney Chacon remains in sixth place in Cowgirl history with 3,266 career assists. She is just behind Kayla Slofkiss for 11th all-time with 929 career digs and is also sixth all-time with 433 sets played. Chacon leads all active MW players with 37 career double-doubles. She needs one more double-double to be tied tenth all-time in MW history.
-Wyoming had a .367 hitting percentage on Wednesday night. It was the third-best of the season and highest of MW play. The previous high during conference action was .314 at New Mexico on Oct. 8.