Cowgirls Fall Short Against Two Ranked Opponents

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The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team put a challenge into two ranked opponents but came up empty in a pair of matches to open the season on Friday at the Purdue Mortar Board Premier.

The Cowgirls were defeated by 20th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers in straight sets (27-29, 16-25, 17-25) to begin the tournament. Wyoming then lost to No. 24 Kentucky (1-1) in three sets (19-25, 21-25, 10-25) in its afternoon contest.

In the opening match of 2016, senior Kayla Slofkiss lead the Cowgirls with eight kills. Sophomore’s Emily Lewis and Reed Copeland each added six for UW, while Mattison DeGarmo recorded five. Senior Laura Beach chipped in four kills, as freshman Tara Traphagan had three in her Cowgirl debut.

Senior Courtney Chacon and junior Dani Westfall each passed out double-digit assists against the Boilermakers. Chacon had 22 while Westfall added ten for the Cowgirls. Junior Lily Austin had a team-high 16 digs against the Boilermakers, while Slofkess recorded 11.

The first set against Purdue featured a back and forth battle with 12 ties and three lead changes. Purdue found themselves with a 12-10 advantage after Wyoming rushed out to a 6-2 lead. UW had a .255 attacking effort, compared to .267 of Purdue. Slofkiss had a team-best three kills in the second set, as well as two of her total three blocks. Chacon dished out four assists to lead UW, as Traphagan led Wyoming with all three of her kills in the third set.

During Wyoming’s second match of 2016, Slofkiss led the Cowgirls in kills, as she posted seven against the Wildcats. Additionally, she recorded a season-high 13 digs to lead the team as well. Beach, Lewis and Copeland each recorded five kills for UW, while Traphagan again totaled three.

Chacon and Westfall once again ran the offense for the Cowgirls and had 12 and 11 assists, respectively. Austin was one dig away from double-digits for the second time today, while Beach had a team-high two blocks.

Lewis had all five of her kills in the first set against UK, while Slofkiss and Beach added two apiece. Copeland and Slofkiss each hammered home three kills in the second set, as Chacon and Westfall each dished out four assists. Slofkiss had a team-high five digs in the final set and Chacon recorded three assists for UW.

After the two matches today, Beach has now started 76 consecutive matches, which dates back to October of her freshman season. Chacon continues to climb the all-time assists list for Wyoming. She recorded her 2,371st assist in the first set of the day to claim the eighth spot on the all-time list. After today she has a total of 2,392 career assists.

The Cowgirls return to action tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. MT. They will face Washington State in the final day of the Purdue Mortar Board Premier.