MISSOULA, Mont. -
Behind a career high 14 kills from sophomore Kayla Slofkiss, the Wyoming Volleyball team opened up the 2014 season with a three-set win (25-20, 29-27, 25-23) over Pac-12 foe Washington State on Friday night in Missoula. The Cowgirls now have an eight-match winning streak dating back to last season.
Slofkiss recorded 14 kills plus seven digs while hitting .294 (14-4-34) for the match. Bridget Shanahan followed with 11 kills and a .304 (11-4-23) hitting percentage. Courtney Chacon finished with 41 assists and seven digs while freshman Lily Austin notched a career high 14 digs in her first action as a Cowgirl. UW hit .275 (44-16-102) for the match and had five total team blocks.
Washington State was led by Kyra Holt with a team high 12 kills and eight digs. Stephanie Logan finished with seven kills and hit .875 (7-0-8) and Chelsey Bettinson recorded seven total blocks. The Cougars hit .189 (42-21-111) for the match but out blocked the Cowgirls 12-5.
"I was pleased with how we performed for the first time out," head coach Chad Callihan said. "There were tough situations and we maintained our composure more often than not. We have things to work on but it's always nice to get a win to start the year especially against a quality opponent."
It was a battle early between the two teams to begin the match with neither one taking a significant lead. With the score 10-9 in favor of UW, the Cougars scored four of the next five points to go ahead by two, 13-11. After a Wyoming timeout, Slofkiss got a kill to stop the run, but WSU went back up 15-12. The Cowgirls rallied back and went on an 11-2 run to give them a five-point advantage, 23-17, and would hold on to take the first set, 25-20. Wyoming hit .355 (15-4-31) and 11 digs in the first set.
The second set was back and forth until the Cowgirls took a small 7-5 lead. Washington State scored four of five points to take their first lead of the set, 9-8, which they would extend to 16-14. Started by a Slofkiss kill, UW made a small run to give them a one point lead 19-18. After the Cougars tied it up on the next side out, the momentum shifted over to WSU and they seemed to have the set in hand at 23-21. The Cowgirls battled back and scored three straight points to earn set point 24-23. There was extra volleyball as the teams matched each other point for point until a kill and hitting error gave Wyoming the set, 29-27.
The Cowgirls dominated the third set from the beginning as they went up 7-1 in the early going. Washington State fought their way back with an 8-3 run to make it a one-point set, 10-9. A service error by Bettinson stopped the Cougars momentum and UW would build the lead back up to three, 17-14. WSU scored the next six of eight points to give them their first lead, 20-19. After a Cowgirl timeout, a kill from Shanahan tied it up followed by two straight UW points to give them a 22-20 lead. Three straight attack errors by the Cougars to close out the match gave Wyoming the set, 25-23, and the match 3-0.
Wyoming returns to action tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. against the Cal Poly Mustangs. The Cowgirls close out the Montana Invite against the host school Montana Griz with the match set for 7:00 p.m.