Cowgirl Volleyball Knocks Off 14th Ranked Ohio State in Opener

Aug. 28, 2015

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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Saturday, Aug. 29
9:30 a.m. MT - Butler vs. Ohio State: Gametracker
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5 p.m. MT - Ohio State vs. South Dakota: Gametracker
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In front of a crowd of 2,317 fans, the Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball team opened up the 2015 campaign with a four-set victory (25-23, 20-25, 25-19, 25-23) over the 14th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday night in the Arena-Auditorium. The attendance was fourth all-time in school history. It's the first time UW has come away with a victory against a ranked opponent since Oct.18, 2002 when the Cowgirls defeated a then 16th ranked Utah Utes team.

"It was our blocking and defense that really came through for us tonight," head coach Chad Callihan said. "Post-match the Ohio State coach complimented us on our defense which was nice to hear. Typically that comes later in the season and we are better offensively at the start which we struggled with tonight. It was nice and good teams find ways to win."

Junior Kayla Slofkiss led the way with her first double-double of the season with a team-high 11 kills plus 12 digs, while fellow junior Laura Beach followed with nine kills and seven block assists. Senior libero Allison Waldvogel finished the night with a team-high 15 digs while Lily Austin added 11 digs. True freshman Reed Copeland recorded two block solos and ten block assists in her first night as a Cowgirl. Wyoming hit .085 (38-26-141) for the match while recording 21 total team blocks on the night.

"We did a good job being aggressive despite hitting into the block a few times. They continued to go after it which in turn put the pressure on Ohio State. It was a side out battle, the stats weren't pretty, but I hope the crowd enjoyed it because it was a fun one."

Ohio State was led by senior Elizabeth Campbell who recorded a match high 17 kills along with 14 digs. Junior Taylor Sandbothe followed with 12 kills and a .242 (12-4-33) hitting percentage. The Buckeyes hit .031 (50-45-160) and finished with 62 assists and nine total team blocks.

It was a battle early between the two teams to begin the match with neither one taking a significant lead. With the score all even at six, the Buckeyes scored five of the next six points to pull ahead by four, 11-7. The Cowgirls battled back to pull within one as Ohio State increased the lead back to three, 15-12. Wyoming responded with a 7-1 scoring run to give them a three-point advantage, 19-16. After an OSU timeout, they would score three unanswered to tie it up at 19 all. The two teams traded the next couple of points until Wyoming took advantage and scored the final three of four to take the set 25-23.

Wyoming kept the momentum going in the second set going up 4-1. The Buckeyes responded with a 9-3 run to make it a three-point lead, 10-7. The Cowgirls scored six of the next seven to go ahead by two, 13-11, forcing an Ohio State timeout. Solid play from OSU and mistakes by the Cowgirls gave the Buckeyes a 20-16 lead. Battling back, Wyoming closed the deficit to one, 21-20. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes closed out the set, 25-20, to even up the match at one set a piece.

The two teams traded points in early part of the third set until with it all tied up at seven the Cowgirls went on a 5-1 run to make it a 12-8. The Buckeyes pulled to within two, 12-10, but UW scored six of the next eight to make it a six-point contest, 19-13. Despite playing even the remainder of the way, Wyoming held on 25-19 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

It continued to be a tight match in the fourth set as the Cowgirls went up early 5-2. Ohio State answered back with six of the next seven points to go ahead by two, 8-6. Wyoming went on an 8-3 run to regain a 14-11 advantage. With it all tied up at 17, the teams traded scores until two straight points by the Cowgirls made it 19-17, which was extended to match point, 24-20. The Buckeyes held off three match points but a kill by senior Kayla Henderson clinched the set, 25-23, and the match 3-1.

Wyoming returns to action tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. against the South Dakota Coyotes. The Cowgirls close out the Rumble in the Rockies against Butler Bulldogs with the match set for 7 p.m. Both matches will be played in the UniWyo Sports Complex.