LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming volleyball team (12-4, 1-2 MW) notched its first Mountain West conference win with a four-set victory (25-27, 25-20, 25-13, 25-20) over the San Diego State Aztecs (5-7, 1-1 MW) on Thursday night in Laramie.
Junior Bridget Shanahan recorded a match-high 14 kills plus two blocks and a .270 (14-4-37) hitting percentage on the night. Laura Beach and Erin Kirby each tallied nine kills while Beach finished with a match high seven blocks. Libero Allison Waldvogel recorded a career high 21 digs while Lily Austin and Kayla Slofkiss added 12 and 11 digs respectively. The Cowgirls hit .201 (48-20-139) on the night and out blocked the Aztecs, 13-6.5.
San Diego State was led by Halle Aiken and Ciara Brown with 13 kills each, while Brown hit .393 (13-2-28) on the night. Three players recorded double-figures in digs led by Alexa Saba with 18. The Aztecs hit .090 (53-38-167) for the match.
"I think we tried to stay somewhat relaxed after falling in that first set," head coach Chad Callihan said. "We've been frantic and so easily rattled the last couple of matches with our play. Even though we weren't playing well we tried to not let it get away from us and stay in control of our emotions. I thought the team did a good job of that and started to play. It was nice to see that despite not playing the best volleyball.
"For us, we feel our offense is pretty good. Blocking and defensive intensity in any sport is the way to change momentum. We didn't think it was good in the first set. After that, we came out much more motivated. The block is a very emotional part of the game and it frustrated San Diego State a bit which pushed them into some unforced errors."
San Diego State scored the first two points of the match which was answered with three straight by the Cowgirls to give them a 3-2 advantage. The Aztecs tied it up on the next side out and the two teams traded scores. With the score 6-5 in favor of SDSU, Wyoming ran off the next seven of nine to pull ahead by four, 12-8. A kill by Brown ended the scoring run and another point brought the Aztecs to within two, 12-10. UW responded with a 4-1 run to regain a five-point advantage, 16-11. San Diego State chipped away at the deficit and pulled to within one, 18-17. Two straight attack errors gave the Cowgirls a 20-17 lead, but the Aztecs rallied with five of six points to give them a 22-21 lead. After SDSU earned set point, 24-23, the Cowgirls held off three but not the fourth falling 27-25 in the first set.
In the second set, the Aztecs went up with the early 4-2 lead. Wyoming evened it up at six all, but two points from San Diego State made it 8-6. A service error and kill made it eight all, but the Cowgirls couldn't seem to gain any momentum. With the score 11-9 in favor of SDSU, Wyoming went on a 7-2 run to give it a 16-13 advantage. Out of an Aztec timeout, San Diego State earned the next point, but the Cowgirls scored four of the next six to maintain a 20-15 lead. Four points from SDSU closed the gap to one, 20-19. UW maintained their composure and closed the set on a 5-1 run to win set two, 25-20.
San Diego State went up early in the third set, 3-1, which was answered by a 5-0 Cowgirl run to give them a 6-3 lead. A kill by Danielle Bolden got the Aztecs back in the scoring column, but Wyoming built its advantage to six, 11-5. San Diego State scored three of the next four to close the gap to four, 12-8. The Cowgirls responded with an 8-3 run to pull ahead, 20-11, and went on to win the set 25-13 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The momentum shifted to the Wyoming side as it scored six of the first eight points to give them a 6-2 lead. A kill from Aiken gave the Aztecs their third point of the set and the scoring would go back and forth. With it 9-5 in favor of UW, San Diego State scored three of the next four to close the gap to two, 10-8. The Cowgirls answered with a 5-2 run to regain a five point lead, 15-10. The Aztecs battled back to even up the score at 16 all. A kill by Shanahan stopped the SDSU run, but the Aztecs tied it up on the next side out. Wyoming closed out the set on an 8-2 run to win the set, 25-20, and the match 3-1.
The Cowgirls will finish up the week on Saturday against the UNLV Rebels. The match is slated for 2:00 p.m. MT in the UniWyo Sports Complex.