LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team concluded the opening day of the UniWyo Pistol Pete’s Showdown with a 3-2 victory (25-20, 25-19, 23-25, 24-26, 15-12) over Marquette University. It marked the first of two matches on Friday before a three-set defeat to No. 22 Kansas later in the evening.
Wyoming went to five sets for the first time this season in its tournament opening match. After jumping out to a 2-0 set lead, UW defeated the Golden Eagles for its second win against a BIG EAST opponent this year.
“I thought we had our best week of practice so I wasn’t surprised with how we started,” UW head coach Chad Callihan said. “Once we got into that fifth set, I thought we kept our composure very well. It was three-straight sets we had started from behind, but we kept working and something finally started to go our way.”
Led by senior outside hitter Bridget Shanahan with a season-high 18 kills, three total Cowgirls finished with double-digit kills against Marquette. Junior outside hitter Kayla Slofkiss had her team-leading fourth double-double of the season with 14 kills and 12 digs. Junior middle blocker Laura Beach joined Shanahan and Slofkiss with 10 kills for UW.
Including Slofkiss, two other Cowgirls finished with a double-double. Freshman libero Cori Aafedt and junior setter Courtney Chacon each recorded their second double-double of the season for Wyoming. Aafedt finished with a team-high 24 assists to go along with 10 digs, while Chacon had 22 assists and 11 digs.
Back-to-back MW Defensive Player of the Week Allison Waldvogel finished with 12 digs for the Cowgirls, as Wyoming was once again led by freshman middle blocker Reed Copeland with six blocks. Redshirt freshman Emily Hines and senior outside Kayla Henderson each had eight kills for UW, and Lily Austin contributed with six digs.
In the day’s final contest, KU was able to get ahead early and never looked back. The Jayhawks took the first set, 25-17 behind six kills from Kelsie Payne. Copeland had all four of her kills against Kansas in the first set to pace Wyoming. UW fought hard in the second set before a 25-21 decision fell in favor of Kansas, and then UW dropped the final set to a score of 25-12. Slofkiss, Beach and Shanahan each had three kills during the second set.
Beach was the team leader with six total kills in the second match of the day. Slofkiss finished with nine digs and four kills. Chacon and Aafedt again had double-digit assists. Chacon recorded a team-high 13, while Aafedt had 10. Copeland recorded three blocks against the Jayhawks and has led Wyoming in every match this season in blocks.
Wyoming will return to action for the final day of the UniWyo Pistol Pete’s Showdown tomorrow night. UW will face Northern Colorado at 6:30 p.m., for the final match of the tournament.