LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming volleyball team (13-4, 2-2 MW) pulled even in Mountain West play with a three-set victory (25-22, 25-17, 25-19) over the UNLV Rebels (13-5, 1-2 MW) on Saturday afternoon in Laramie.
Three Cowgirls finished the match in double-figures led by sophomore Laura Beach. She recorded a match-high 12 kills, while hitting .450 (12-3-20) on the afternoon. Bridget Shanahan followed with 11 kills while Erin Kirby added ten kills and two block assists. Courtney Chacon recorded a double-double with 41 assists and ten digs, while Kayla Slofkiss finished with 12 digs. As a team, UW hit .336 (51-14-110) and had 49 digs and 48 assists.
UNLV was led by Bree Hammel with eight kills, three total blocks and a .357 (8-3-14) hitting percentage. Daryn Glenn added seven kills followed by Alexis Patterson with 22 assists and six kills. The Rebels hit .188 (32-13-101) for the match and out blocked the Cowgirls 7-3.
"I thought we played well this afternoon. We played well offensively in the first set. In the second set the defense caught up and allowed us to open things up. When we are clicking on all cylinders typically it results in a win for us," head coach Chad Callihan said. "When we have all several players, Laura, Kayla, Bridget, Erin, all on their game it's hard for teams to key in on one particular player. We want to be a well-rounded team and create different match-ups, which is nice."
Wyoming would take a small 4-3 lead to begin the match, but UNLV responded with an 8-5 run to go up by two, 11-9. The Cowgirls ran off eight of the next 11 points to give them a 17-14 advantage. It was a lead that they would maintain over the next couple of points until the Rebels pulled to within two, 20-18. UW increased the lead back to four, 23-19, and eventually earned set point, 24-22. After a Cowgirl timeout, a kill by Slofkiss gave them set one, 25-22.
Two straight kills by the Cowgirls started off the second set. The Rebels scored three of the next five to pull within one, 4-3. Wyoming answered with eight straight points to pull ahead by nine, 12-3. A service error by Chacon ended the Wyoming scoring streak and UNLV made a small run to make it 12-8. Another five unanswered by the Cowgirls increased the UW advantage back to nine, 17-8. The Rebels battled back and scored three straight to make it a six-point contest, 17-11. After a timeout by the Cowgirls, they would close out the set on an 8-6 run winning the set, 25-17, to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Three straight block assists by UNLV started out the third set. A kill from Kirby got UW on the board and began a 5-1 run to put them ahead, 5-4. The Rebels evened it up on the next side out, but the Cowgirls went on a 10-3 run to regain a 15-8 advantage. With the score 18-8 in favor of Wyoming, UNLV chipped away and closed the gap to four, 22-18. The Cowgirls kept their composure and scored the final three of four points to take the set, 25-19, and the match 3-0.
Wyoming will continue its home stretch by hosting the seventh ranked Colorado State Rams, on Tuesday, followed by the Fresno State Bulldogs on Thursday. Both matches are set for 7:00 p.m. MT.