COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
Behind a 19-kill effort from junior Bridget Shanahan, the Wyoming volleyball team (15-5, 4-3 MW) earned a four-set victory (25-23, 25-22, 25-27, 25-17) over the Air Force Falcons (9-12, 3-4 MW) on Thursday night in Colorado Springs.
Three Cowgirls finished the night in double-figures led by Shanahan. She recorded a match-high 19 kills while adding two blocks and hitting .240 (19-7-50). Senior Erin Kirby finished with 15 kills and a team high .560 (15-1-25) hitting percentage and six total blocks. She is five blocks short of taking over the all-time Mountain West blocks record of 670. Sophomore Kayla Slofkiss had ten kills while Courtney Chacon recorded a career high 56 assists. Wyoming hit .277 (64-23-148) and had 13 total team blocks for the match.
Maggie Sherrill recorded 19 kills, four blocks and hit .349 (19-4-43) to lead the way for the Falcons. Akokwe Clement followed with 11 kills and 13 digs. Air Force hit .227 (55-23-141) for the match and recorded 12 blocks.
"Road wins are tough to come by in this conference and we are excited to get a victory against a very good Air Force squad," head coach Chad Callihan said. "Hopefully we can carry the momentum with us into the New Mexico match."
The Cowgirls came out strong in the first set scoring five of the first seven points to take a 5-2 lead. Air Force closed the gap to 6-4, which was answered by a run for Wyoming to make it a four-point set, 12-8. Over the next 12 points, UW continued to maintain a three to four point advantage, but the Falcons wouldn't go away. With the score 18-14 in favor of the Cowgirls, Air Force ran off six of the next eight points to even it up at 20 all. The teams traded scores until a service error and attack error by the Falcons gave Wyoming the first set, 25-23.
It was a battle to begin the second set until the Cowgirls took the early 7-4 lead. Five straight points by the Falcons put them up by two, 9-7. A kill by Slofkiss started a 6-3 run for Wyoming helping to regain a 13-12 advantage. Air Force scored on the next side out and the two teams went back and forth. With it all tied up at 19, the Cowgirls scored four of the next seven pull ahead, 23-21. The Falcons made it a one-point set, 23-22, but Wyoming scored the final three points to win the set, 25-22, to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Air Force opened up the third set taking an early 3-2 lead. The Cowgirls responded with nine straight points to take an 11-3 advantage. The Falcons chipped away at the deficit and pulled to within three, 13-10. Two points from Wyoming made it 15-10, but Air Force went on a 5-1 run to pull to within one, 16-15. The Cowgirls would build the lead back to three and earn match point, 24-21. The Falcons held off three-match points and tied it up at 24. UW scored the next point to gain match point again, but Air Force scored the final three points to force a fourth set, 27-25.
It was back and forth to begin set four until Wyoming built an 8-5 lead. After a point by the Falcons on the next side out, the Cowgirls scored six unanswered to extend the lead to eight, 14-6. Out of a timeout, a kill from Clement ended the Air Force scoring drought, but Wyoming responded with five of the next ten points to gain a 19-11 advantage. The teams played even down the stretch as the Cowgirls won the set, 25-17, and the match 3-1.
The Cowgirls will close out the week with a match-up against the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday. The match is set for a 2 p.m. MT start in Albuquerque.