LAS VEGAS, Nev. -
"We knew this coaching staff would have UNLV very prepared and we knew it would be a battle," UW head coach Chad Callihan said. "We felt very comfortable tonight in a tight contest and we really kept our composure."
Sophomore Laura Beach led the Cowgirl attack with 15 kills. She also added five total blocks. Three other Cowgirls added double digit kills, sophomore Kayla Slofkiss added 13 kills with juniors Kayla Henderson and Bridget Shanahan chipping in 11 kills apiece.
"UNLV does a great job blocking and we did a great job of spreading the ball around and we made great decisions," Callihan said.
Sophomore setter Courtney Chacon recorded her ninth double-double of the season recording 52 assists and 16 digs. Junior Allison Waldvogel led the Cowgirls with 21 digs on the night. Senior Erin Kirby chipped in defensively with five total blocks.
The Rebels were led by Daryn Glenn, who recorded 16 kills and 22 digs. Bree Hammel added 13 kills for UNLV.
The Cowgirls outhit the Rebels .218 (65-27-174) to .190 (58-27-163). UNLV had the edge in blocks at 14.5 to 12.
UNLV opened up the match taking a 3-1 lead in the early going. The Cowgirls evened it up at three but it was answered with a 4-1 run by the Rebels to put them ahead by three, 7-4. After a kill by Kirby, UNLV increased its advantage to five, 12-7. Out of a Wyoming timeout, Shanahan notched a kill to start a small scoring run for the Cowgirls to pull them to within three, 15-12. Unfortunately, the Rebels scored the final ten of 13 to take the first set, 25-15.
"That first set was a wakeup call and they got us out of rhythm, but give our kids credit as we drove up the intensity and got the momentum back," Callihan said.
The momentum stayed on the side of the Rebels in the second set as they jumped out to a 5-3 lead. Wyoming chipped away at the deficit by scoring four of the next five points to take its first lead 7-6. A kill by Daryn Glenn started a 4-1 run by UNLV to make it 10-8 which the Rebels extended to 15-11. Two straight attack errors from UNLV helped the Cowgirls close the gap to one, 15-14, but a kill and service error put the Rebels up three, 17-14. After a UW timeout, they would respond with eight straight points to regain a five-point lead, 22-17. The Cowgirls held UNLV to one point the remainder of the set to win 25-18 and even up the match at one all.
UNLV scored the first point of the third set. The Cowgirls scored the next six straight points giving them a 6-1lead. Started by a service error from Austin, the Rebels scored five of the next seven points to pull within two, 8-6. Wyoming increased the lead back to four, 11-7, but UNLV ran off the next five points to take the lead back at 12-11. A kill from Shanahan evened it up at 12 followed by a 4-2 run to give the Cowgirls a 16-14 advantage. Kills by Owens and Glenn tied the score at 16, which was answered with seven of the next 11 by UW to make it 23-20. The Rebels battled back and scored three straight, but a kill and attack error by the Cowgirls gave them the third set, 25-23.
In the fourth set, the Rebels regrouped and jumped out to a 7-1 lead. Two kills from Slofkiss ended the scoreless stretch for the Cowgirls and started a 7-3 run to pull them to within two, 10-8. UNLV responded with eight of the next 13 points to increase the lead to five, 18-13. Wyoming couldn't mount a comeback as it would fall 25-20 in the fourth set.
The Cowgirls responded to begin the fifth set by taking a 5-2 lead. Out of a UNLV timeout, the Rebels scored three of the next four points to make it 6-5. Wyoming would build the lead back to five, 12-7. The Rebels battled back coming within one at 13-12, but Beach ended the match as UW took the frame 15-13 and the match 3-2.
Wyoming closes out the week against San Diego State on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. MT in Peterson Gym.