LARAMIE, Wyo. -
LARAMIE, Wyo. (Aug. 29, 2015) - The Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team remained undefeated by earning a three-set sweep (25-21, 25-20, 25-16) over South Dakota (0-3 overall) in the first match of the day, while closing it out with a four-set win (25-20, 29-27, 25-27, 25-16) over the Butler Bulldogs (1-2 overall) to take home the tournament title. Allison Waldvogel was named MVP of the tournament while Laura Beach and Kayla Slofkiss where both selected to the All-Tournament Team.
"I thought we looked good at the beginning of the match then I felt like we took our foot off the gas against Butler," head coach Chad Callihan said. "Butler is a very good team and when you do that you are going to pay for it. The second set we made some key plays to close it out and put ourselves in the same situation in the third."
In the first match of the day, the Cowgirls opened up with a bit of a hangover falling behind 5-1 against the Coyotes. After a UW timeout, they would score four of the next five to close the gap to one, 6-5. South Dakota built the lead back to three, 10-7, which the Cowgirls made it a one point set, 13-12. A couple of points by the Coyotes had them up 15-12 until Wyoming went on an 8-3 run to take its first lead of the set, 20-18. Following its second timeout of the set, South Dakota tied it up at 21 all, but the Cowgirls maintained their composure scoring the final four points to win the set, 25-21.
Wyoming's early offensive struggles continued in the second set with them falling behind 6-2. Following a timeout, an 8-3 run by the Cowgirls gave them their first lead of the set 10-8. South Dakota pulled even at ten but UW scored five of eight points to regain a 15-11 advantage. The Coyotes ended the scoring drought with two straight points to make it 15-13. Wyoming closed it out 25-20 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
It was back and forth in the third set with neither team taking advantage. Down 8-7, the Cowgirls scored six straight points to gain a five point advantage, 13-8. A kill by Lindsey Brown ended the Coyotes scoring drought but Wyoming scored three straight and never looked back. The Cowgirls won the set 25-19 and 3-0 in the match.
The Cowgirls hit .221 (38-17-95) for the match and recorded eight total team blocks. Laura Beach led the way with eight kills, two block solos and two block assists while Reed Copeland finished the match with seven kills and four block assists.
Behind solid serving from Slofkiss, Wyoming opened up with a 6-0 lead against Butler. The Bulldogs scored six of the next eight to pull within two, 8-6. The Cowgirls built their advantage back to four, 11-7, but a run from Butler evened up the score at 13. A 7-3 run from Wyoming made it four points once again 20-16 and they would eventually hold on 25-20.
It was tight in the second set with neither team taking a large lead. With it tied at seven, the Cowgirls scored four of the next five points to go up 11-7. Four unanswered by Butler evened the score at 11 which was answered with another 6-1 run by Wyoming to make it 17-12. The Bulldogs battled back to take a lead at 20-19. A kill and service ace gave UW a 21-20 advantage, but unfortunately Butler scored four of six to earn set point 24-23. The Cowgirls held off two set points and earned one of their own 25-24. After holding off one more, a kill and block solo by Kayla Henderson gave Wyoming the set 29-27 and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set was very similar to the second as the teams remained tied through the first 20 points, 10-10. Butler scored the next four points straight forcing a Cowgirl timeout. An attack error ended the scoring run but the Bulldogs went on a 7-3 run to pull ahead 21-14. Wyoming battled its way back into it closing the gap to one, 23-22. Butler earned set point which was held off by the Cowgirls and they earned match point 25-24. The Bulldogs scored two in a row to gain set point and pulled it out 27-25.
The Cowgirls gained the upper hand in the fourth set by taking a 6-2 lead. Butler closed the gap to two, 8-6 which was answered with a 7-4 run to extend the lead back to five, 15-10. Wyoming held Butler to just six points the rest of the way as it took the set 25-16 and the match 3-1.
Dani Westfall had a career-high night with 35 assists against Butler, while Waldvogel had 22 digs during the nightcap. Four starters finished the night in double-figures led by senior Bridget Shanahan with 16 kills and a .229 (16-5-48) hitting percentage. Redshirt freshman Emily Hines recorded 13 kills, Slofkiss had 12 kills and ten digs followed by Beach with 11. Junior Courtney Chacon also contributed with 19 assists and 11 digs. Wyoming hit .225 (61-22-173) for the night and recorded 10.5 total team blocks.
Wyoming returns to action next week at the Gonzaga Invitational. The Cowgirls face host Gonzaga on Friday followed by matches with Montana and Utah on Saturday in Spokane.
All-Tournament Team Champion-Wyoming
Valeria Leon-Ohio State
Taylor Sandbothe-Ohio State
Audrey Reeg-South Dakota