BOISE, Idaho -
Despite a 16-kill effort from Bridget Shanahan, the Wyoming volleyball team (11-2 overall, 0-0 MW) opened up Mountain West play with a four-set loss (22-25, 25-21, 16-25, 19-25) against the Boise State Broncos (8-5 overall, 1-0 MW), on Thursday night., at Bronco Gym. With three block assists, senior Erin Kirby became the all-time leader in MW history in that category and currently has 590.
Shanahan finished her night with 16 kills while hitting .342 (16-3-38) for the match. Sophomore Kayla Slofkiss recorded nine kills while three others had seven kills each. Wyoming hit .288 (49-15-118) for the match.
"I have to do a better job of mentally preparing this team for the rigors of MW play," said head coach Chad Callihan. "There are off nights and we have to be ready to compete."
Sierra Nobley led the way for Boise State with a match-high 19 kills plus seven digs and a .361 (19-6-36) hitting percentage. Alyssa Gammel followed with 15 kills while Hannah Hubbard recorded a match-high 20 digs. The Broncos hit .328 (60-19-125) and had six total team blocks.
Boise State started off the match by taking an early 3-1 advantage. The Cowgirls responded with a 5-2 run to take their first lead of the set, 6-5, which they extended to three, 9-6. The Broncos scored three unanswered to even up the score at nine. After a Shanahan kill, BSU scored nine of the next 11 points, which included seven straight, to go ahead by five, 18-13. Started by a kill from Laura Beach, the Cowgirls climbed their way back into it and pulled to within four 22-18. BSU scored two points to earn set point, 24-18. UW held off four set points until a kill from Nobley gave the Broncos the set, 25-22.
In the second set, BSU took a small 3-2 lead early, which was answered with an 8-2 run by the Cowgirls to give them a 10-5 advantage. The Broncos battled back and scored 6 of the next 8 points to pull within one, 12-11. A kill from Beach sparked a 6-4 run by Wyoming to extend the lead back to four, 19-15. Boise State chipped away at the lead and pulled to within three, 23-20, but the Cowgirls scored the final two of three points to win the set, 25-21.
The Broncos stormed out in the third set and went up 6-2. A kill from Kirby ended the scoring drought, but Boise State responded with a 4-2 run to go up by five, 10-5, and would extend it to double-figures, 19-9. Wyoming could never get anything going offensively as it lost the set, 25-16, to go down 2-1 in the match. The Cowgirls hit .120 (8-5-25) in the set.
It didn't fare any better in the fourth set for the Cowgirls as Boise State scored nine unanswered to go ahead, 9-0. Finally, two straight kills from Henderson and Slofkiss got Wyoming on the scoreboard. The Cowgirls went on a small run and close the gap to five, 15-10. The Broncos responded with 9 of the next 12 points to earn match point, 24-13. UW made one final push scoring six unanswered to make it 24-19, but would fall 25-19 and 3-1 in the match.
Wyoming will close out the road trip on Saturday with a match-up at the Utah State Aggies. The match is set for 7:00 p.m. MT in Logan.