Cowgirls Falter against Ranked Foes

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The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team faced two strong opponents on Friday at the Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Wyoming fell in straight sets (20-25, 22-25, 14-25) to No. 10 BYU in its first match of the day, before falling to No. 11 Ohio State in three (22-25, 17-26, 16-25) at the Nationwide Arena.

Against BYU, junior Lily Austin tied a career-high and led both teams with 17 digs, while sophomore Reed Copeland recorded a season-high eight kills for Wyoming during the first-ever volleyball match played in Nationwide Arena. Senior setter Courtney Chacon had her fourth match of the year with at least 20 assists, as senior middle blocker Laura Beach led the way with a season-high six total blocks.

To begin play, the first set went back and forth early on. After the teams were tied at five, UW went on a 6-1 run and propelled to an 11-6 advantage before a 5-0 run by the Cougars. BYU eventually went ahead 18-16 before a UW timeout and held on for the first set victory. Austin had 12 of her 17 digs in the first set, as Chacon had her first eight assists. Beach led both squads with five kills.

In the second stanza, BYU jumped out to an 11-6 lead before UW called time to regroup. The Cowgirls ultimately had a 10-2 run to cut into BYU’s lead, but the Cougars closed out the set to hold a 2-0 advantage into intermission. Copeland had four kills during the second set, while Chacon had seven assists and two blocks.

In the final frame, BYU recorded 14 kills to UW’s seven. The Cougars jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Six different Cowgirls had at least one kill, as Slofkiss led the way with two. Chacon dished out five assists for UW in the third and final frame.

Wyoming was paced offensively by redshirt freshman Bayly Poor in the second match of the day. Poor recorded a team-high eight kills against No. 11 Ohio State. Chacon ran the offense for UW and assisted on 17 kills, as Beach and Copeland both had six kills. Austin once again led the Cowgirls in digs with 15 on the evening, while sophomore’s Copeland and Emily Lewis each had four blocks for UW.

The Cowgirls came out fired up in the opening set against OSU. UW had leads of 5-0 and 8-2, before Ohio State began to inch back into the set. UW called timeout after the Buckeyes recorded four-straight points to bring UW’s lead to one, 16-15. Ohio State then had a 20-18 lead and held on win the first set, 25-22. Poor, who recorded her first-career kill in the match against BYU and earned her first-career start against the Buckeyes, led UW in the opening set with four kills. Beach and Copeland each had three, while Chacon had six assists.

In a great back and forth second set, Wyoming stormed out to a 4-0 lead before OSU came digging back to tie things up at five. Wyoming would call a timeout as Ohio State found themselves with a 16-10 lead and what would eventually become to a second set win. Beach had two kills in set number two, as Chacon had three assists and Austin had four of her digs.

Ohio State jumped out to an early 7-4 advantage in the last stanza. After pulling within two, 10-8, the Buckeyes found their rhythm and ended the match on a 15-8 run. Copeland and Poor each had three kills for UW in the final frame. Chacon dished out eight assists, while Austin had six digs in the third set. 

Wyoming will close out the Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic tomorrow afternoon against LIU Brooklyn. The match will begin at 1 p.m. MT.