LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Volleyball Team (3-0 overall) remained undefeated on the season with two victories to close out the Montana Invite, on Saturday, in Missoula. The Cowgirls defeated the Cal Poly Mustangs (1-2 overall) in the first match of day in four sets (25-22, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16), while closing out the day with a three-set sweep (25-17, 25-12, 25-20) over the host school Montana (0-3 overall) to take home the tournament title. Courtney Chacon was named MVP of the tournament while Bridget Shanahan and Kayla Slofkiss where both selected to the All-Tournament Team.
In the first match of the day, Cal Poly and UW played even through the first ten points of the match until a three straight by the Mustangs gave them an 8-5 advantage. Started by three straight kills by Shanahan, the Cowgirls ran off the next eight of nine points to go ahead by four, 13-9. A kill by Greisen ended the drought for Cal Poly and they would close the gap to one, 14-13. Wyoming went on a small 5-2 run to extend the lead back to four, 19-15. The Mustangs continued to battle and pulled to within one, 22-21. UW scored the final three of four points to take the set, 25-22.
In the second set, it was tight in the early going until Cal Poly opened up an 11-7 lead. A kill by Shanahan stopped the Mustangs momentum and the Cowgirls would close to within two, 12-10. The Mustangs responded with five of the next eight points to go ahead by five, 18-13. The two teams played even down the stretch as Cal Poly evened up the match 1-1 by taking set two, 25-20.
Wyoming responded in the third set by jumping out to a 9-5 lead. The Mustangs closed the gap to one at 12-11 and eventually tied it up at 18 all. After a Cowgirl timeout, UW closed out the set on a 7-2 run to win 25-20. Wyoming hit an impressive .385 (18-3-39) for the set while three players each had five kills each.
In the fourth set, the Cowgirls built up a 10-5 lead right out of the gate. Cal Poly would pull to within three, 10-7, but that would be as close as they would get. Wyoming would win the set, 25-16, and the match 3-1.
Three Cowgirls finished the match in double-figures led by junior outside hitter Bridget Shanahan. She tied her career high with 19 kills while adding four block assists and a .318 (19-5-44) hitting percentage. Kayla Slofkiss and Laura Beach each added 12 kills while Beach finished the match with a team high .647 (12-1-17) hitting percentage. Freshman Lily Austin followed up her 14 dig performance from last night with 16 today for UW. Wyoming hit .338 (61-17-130) as a team and recorded 57 assists, 46 digs and eight total team blocks.
Cal Poly was led by Raeann Greisen who finished the match with 18 kills, nine digs and a .366 (18-3-41) hitting spot. Hannah Mathiesen followed with 13 kills while Nicole Kessler added a team high 17 digs. The Mustangs hit .242 (53-21-132) for the match and had nine total team blocks.
"It was nice to see the team show a little resiliency today," Callihan said. "We were not playing our best volleyball due to Cal Poly and their offensive tempo. We did a nice job of grinding until we found our rhythm and we were able to score a few nice service runs."
Wyoming's solid play continued to show as they dominated in the second match of the day against Montana. The Cowgirls opened up the set by taking a 9-4 lead. UW would extend that lead with a 9-3 run to make it 18-10 in their favor. Despite being outscored down the stretch, the Cowgirls would win the set, 25-17. They hit an impressive .533 (18-2-30) committing only two errors.
In the second set, Wyoming carried that momentum over and went up early 4-2. The Griz answered back with four of the next five points to take the lead 6-5. An attack error on the next side out evened things up and the teams traded scores over the next several points. With it all even at eight, the Cowgirls went on a 10-1 run to give them an 18-9 advantage. A service error by Slofkiss ended the UW run, but the set was never close as the Cowgirls went on to win 25-12 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Cowgirls built a 12-6 third set lead over the Griz, which included a 7-1 run. Montana battled back with six unanswered points to pull even at 12 all. A kill from Shanahan would end the Griz run and they would score eight of the next ten to put them up by six, 20-14. Wyoming would be outscored 6-5 the remainder of the way but held on to win the set, 25-20, and the match, 3-0.
Three Cowgirls finished the night in double-figures led by Shanahan. She recorded her third straight double-figure kill match with 15 while hitting .483 (15-1-29). Slofkiss followed with 13 kills and Erin Kirby recorded 11 kills. Austin finished the night with 17 digs while Chacon had another solid showing with 41 assists and seven digs. Wyoming hit .388 (52-12-103) for the match and had three total blocks.
Montana was led by Michelle Robinson with eight kills and three digs, while Capri Richardson finished her night with five kills. The Griz hit .167 (27-12-90) on the night.
"I'm really proud of the way we play this evening. It was a good match environment and I thought we managed that well. Courtney did a great job running our offense and our attackers stayed aggressive all weekend. This is something we can build on."
The Cowgirls close out the weekend on Monday, Sept. 1, as they host the Utah Valley Wolverines in Evanston. The match is set for 4:00 p.m. at the Evanston High School Gym. Wyoming returns home next weekend to host the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic, Sept. 5-6.