LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Behind a career-high 17 kills from sophomore Laura Beach, the Wyoming volleyball team (21-7, 10-5 MW) closed out the week with a four-set victory (24-26, 25-23, 28-26, 25-12) over the Air Force Falcons (12-18, 6-10 MW) on Saturday afternoon in Laramie.
Beach led the way with 17 kills and three total blocks while hitting .517 (17-2-29) for the match. Senior Erin Kirby recorded 13 kills, four block assists and a team-high .667 (13-1-18) hitting percentage followed by sophomore Kayla Slofkiss with ten kills and seven digs.
Setter Courtney Chacon finished with her 11th double-double on the year with 27 assists and 15 digs. Allison Waldvogel and Lily Austin each recorded 11 digs. Wyoming outhit the Falcons .268 (623-23-149) to .197 (197 (51-24-137) but were out blocked 11-7.
"We just have lacked energy and intensity over these last two matches," head coach Chad Callihan said. "This wasn't as much about x's and o's but competing. It took us a while to get going, but in the third set we began to come alive and made some good plays. Air Force is a good team and you have to be at your best. I was pleased with the fourth set minus a couple of service errors we were able to find a nice rhythm."
Air Force was led by Akokwe Clement with a team-high 15 kills and a .209 (15-6-43) hitting percentage Three Falcons recorded double-digits in digs led by Rachel Bradley Powers with 15 while Hillary Keltner and Maggie Sherrill finished with 12 and 11 respectively.
It was a real battle early in the match as it was all even at eight in set one. The Cowgirls scored four of the next five to take an 11-9 lead. Air Force responded with a 9-3 run including three straight points to pull ahead 18-14. Out of a UW timeout, it would rally with six unanswered to recapture a 20-18 advantage. The Falcons battled back to tie it up at 23 all and scored the final three of four to win set one, 26-24.
Wyoming responded to begin the second set by opening up a 14-7 lead. Out of a Falcon timeout, a kill by Clement stopped the Cowgirls scoring run, but Wyoming built the lead to eight, 17-9. Air Force rallied back with an 11-3 run to even up the score at 20 all. Wyoming would regain a 23-21 advantage. A kill and attack error made it 23 all, but the Cowgirls tacked on the final two points to win the set, 25-23.
In the third set, the Cowgirls took a 7-5 early lead. Air Force answered with an 8-3 run to go up by three, 13-10. A kill by Chacon started a run for Wyoming to help it regain a 17-16 advantage. After the Falcons tied it up, the teams traded scores. Air Force scored four of six to earn set point at 24-22. The Cowgirls kept their composure and closed out the set on a 6-2 run to win 28-26.
The momentum really shifted to the side of Wyoming in the fourth set as it jumped out to the 11-4 lead. A kill by Taylor Parker ended the Cowgirls scoring stretch. The lead was never in jeopardy as UW won the set, 25-12, and the match 3-1.
The Cowgirls will play their final home match of the season on Wednesday against the Nevada Wolf Pack. The match is set for 7 p.m. MT in the UniWyo Sports Complex.