Cowgirl Volleyball Dominates in Win Over Utah Valley

Sept. 1, 2014

EVANSTON, Wyo. -

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In front of a packed Evanston Gymnasium, the Wyoming Volleyball team (4-0 overall) continued their undefeated streak with a three-set sweep (25-12, 25-13, 25-20) over the Utah Valley Wolverines (0-4 overall), on Monday afternoon. The Cowgirls have now won 11 straight matches dating back to last season, which is tied for the second longest win streak in school history.

"It was a great experience for these ladies to get to play in this type of atmosphere," head coach Chad Callihan said. "I thought they handled themselves very well, but I was a little nervous being a coach, creature of habit and stepping out of our comfort zone. It was great to have all the Wyoming fans on this side of the state and all over supporting us. It was a fun environment for sure."

Senior Erin Kirby had a stellar showing in her hometown tying a season-high with 11 kills, adding three blocks and an impressive .917 (11-0-2) hitting percentage on the afternoon in the Cowgirl win. Bridget Shanahan followed with 10 kills while Laura Beach chipped in eight kills. Lily Austin recorded 12 digs and Courtney Chacon had 30 assists. Wyoming hit a season high.397 (40-9-78) for the match and out blocked Wolverines, 8-4.

Utah Valley was led by Lauren Bakker who recorded 11 kills and hit .261 (11-5-23) for the match. Nakisha Willden hit a match high .636 (7-0-11) while two players finished with seven digs each. UVU hit .163 (33-18-92) on the night.

"Erin played extremely well. We talked earlier last week about her handling this experience, she said she'd been preparing and showed maturity to be able to not get distracted by all the things going on. She played probably one of her best matches of her Cowgirl career tonight, incredible offensive numbers and really helped push us towards a win."

The Cowgirls took the early 4-2 lead to begin the match. Two straight points by the Wolverines evened it up at four and then the teams traded scores over the next several points. With it all knotted up at 13, Wyoming scored four straight to go ahead 17-13. After a kill by Cassie Wahlin, the Cowgirls closed out the set on an 8-0 run to win 25-14.

The momentum continued on the side of the Cowgirls in the second set. The Wolverines scored the first point of the set, but UW answered with nine straight points. A service error by Chacon ended the scoring run by Wyoming. The Cowgirls responded by scoring six of the next nine points to extend the lead back to double-figures 15-4. Utah Valley tried to chip away at the lead and closed the gap to seven, 16-9. Wyoming continued their strong play as they closed out the set on a 9-4 run to win it, 25-13, to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

Utah Valley stormed out to their largest lead of the match in the third set scoring six of the first eight points to go up 6-2, which they would extend to 8-3. The Cowgirls chipped away at the lead and pulled to within one, 11-10. A kill from Nakisha Willden ended the run and the Wolverines built the lead back to 16-14. Started by a Kayla Slofkiss kill, UW ran off five straight points to give them the lead for the first time in the set, 21-16. Despite a couple of runs by Utah Valley, Wyoming went on to win the set, 25-20, and the match, 3-0.

The Cowgirls will be at home for the first time this season to close out the week. Wyoming will host the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic, Friday-Saturday, Sept. 5-6. They will open up with Ball State and South Alabama.