LARAMIE, Wyo. (Nov. 15, 2016) – The University of Wyoming women’s volleyball team is set to face Air Force and Boise State this week to continue Mountain West action. UW will travel to Colorado Springs for a 6:00 p.m. MT contest with the Falcons on Wednesday before returning home on Friday to compete against Boise State for Senior Night at 6:30 p.m.
“I don’t know that you can really measure what these seniors have done for our program,” UW head coach Chad Callihan said. “If you look over the course of their four-year careers, they’ll finish second in total wins. Beyond that, all three of them had earned some type of role by the end of their freshman year. They’ve continued to improve as their career has gone on and I can’t say enough about them both as players and the type of people they are.”
It will mark the first matchup with both Air Force and Boise State this season. UW defeated the Falcons twice last season and has won 23 of the last 24 matches played. The Cowgirls split with Boise State a season ago, as both teams won their home match. Wyoming has won its last four at home against the Broncos.
“We want to get back to competing,” Callihan mentioned. “It’s been a quick turnaround for us, but we are looking forward to these next two matches. This team has a lot of pride and works so hard. Every team in the conference still has something to play for, so we know they’ll all be ready to play.”
Air Force (10-18, 1-14 MW) earned its first conference win against Fresno State on Saturday. The Falcons swept the Bulldogs for their first three-set win of the season. Sophomore outside hitter Elizabeth Pennington leads the Falcons with 383 kills (3.61 kps) as sophomore middle blocker Abigail Miksch had 344 (3.31 kps). Sophomore setter Sarah Hellman directs the offense averaging 9.63 assists per set as senior defensive specliast Savannah Banyai has posted 290 (2.84 aps) this season. Additionally, junior middle blocker Piper Heineck has 104 total blocks (1.05 bps) for the Falcons.
Boise State (22-6, 13-2) is currently tied with Colorado State for first place in the MW. The Broncos have won 11 in a row including seven on the road. Junior outside hitter Sierra Nobley leads the conference with 4.53 kills per set and has 439 on the year. Junior libero Maddi Osburn and junior setter Jaymee-Lee Bulda are the MW leaders in digs (4.98 dps) and assists (11.80 aps), respectively. Redshirt junior Kaitlyn Oliver and senior middle blocker Maddy O’Donnell are third in hitting percentage (.361) and blocks (1.33 bps), respectively. As a team, Boise State paces the conference in assists (13.54 aps), kills (14.57 kps) and digs (15.75 dps).
- With 46 MW wins, Chad Callihan is tied with Hall of Fame coach Mike English for the most conference wins in Wyoming history.
-Courtney Chacon is in sixth place in Cowgirl history with 3,240 career assists. She is just behind Kayla Slofkiss for 11th all-time with 919 career digs. Chacon leads all active MW players with 36 career double-doubles. She needs two more double-doubles to be tied tenth all-time in MW history.
-Laura Beach is fifth all-time with 425 total blocks. She continues to hold the top spot in career hitting percentage (.372) and her .404 percentage this year leads the MW, is third-best in a UW single season and is currently 14th overall in the NCAA. Additionally, Beach is 43 kills away from 1,000 for her career.
-Kayla Slofkiss moved into tenth all-time with 921 career digs while wearing the Brown and Gold. She moved past Anna Parmely (1995-98). Slofkiss joined Jodi Purdy (2009-12), Ronda Munger (1984-87) and Michele Rauter (2000-03) as the only players with 1,000 kills and 900 digs during their career.
-Reed Copeland is second in the MW in blocks averaging 1.36 per set. That average is 30th in the NCAA. She has led Wyoming in blocks during 12 different matches.
-Wyoming leads the MW in opponent hitting percentage (.158) and is second in blocks. UW is 17th in the NCAA in opponent hitting percentage and 36th in blocks.
-Aided by a tough nonconference schedule and an 11-1 record at home, the Cowgirl volleyball team sits at No. 71 in the NCAA’s sixth RPI Rankings. UNLV (24th), Boise State (33rd) and Colorado State (43rd) are ahead of UW in the rankings.