LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team opens Mountain West play this week at Boise State and Utah State. The Cowgirls are currently on a school-record seven-match MW winning streak. The Cowgirls closed out the 2013 season with seven-straight MW wins. UW faces Boise State on Thursday night in Boise, Idaho, at 7 p.m. MT. The Cowgirls will then visit Utah State on Saturday at 7 p.m. MT in Logan, Utah.
The Cowgirls received votes in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association Top-25 Coaches Poll. It is the first time that UW has gotten votes in the poll since the Mountain West Conference was formed in 1999.
The Cowgirls are 4-11 in Mountain West Conference openers dating back to Wyoming's first season in the league in 1999. Last season, Colorado State defeated the Cowgirls in four sets in the MW opener.
Senior Erin Kirby is coming off a big weekend for the Cowgirls, becoming UW's all-time leader in total blocks with 630 in her career. She is coming up on another record this weekend, as she only needs four blocking assists to become the MW's all-time leader in category. She has 587 blocking assists in her career.
About Boise State: The Broncos head into Thursday night's Mountain West opener with a 7-5 overall record. Boise State has won four-straight matches via the sweep dating back to Sept. 13. Boise State ranks third in the MW in hitting percentage at .284 (588-196-1382). BSU also ranks third in the MW in kills at 14 per set. Defensively, the Broncos rank 10th in the MW in digs at 13.36 per frame. Boise State ranks seventh in the league in blocks at 2.17 per frame. Sierra Nobley leads BSU and ranks second in the MW in kills averaging 3.69 per set. Maddy O'Donnell ranks second in the MW and sixth in the nation in hitting percentage at .485 (99-20-163). Defensively, Hannah Hubbard ranks sixth in the MW in digs per set at 3.76. O'Donnell leads Boise State in blocks averaging 1.09 per set.
About Utah State: The Aggies come into the weekend with a 4-6 overall record. Utah State has played a challenging schedule recently that featured losses to No. 22 Hawai'i and No. 25 UCLA. Utah State's last action came on Sept. 17 in a three-set loss to Utah. USU ranks seventh in the MW in kills this season at 12.22 per frame. The Aggies are hitting .194 (501-220-1447) as a team ranking seventh in the MW. Utah State also ranks seventh in the league in assists at 11.39 per stanza. Defensively, Utah State leads the MW in digs per frame at 15.44. They also rank third in the league in blocks per set at 2.88. Rachel Orr leads USU in kills at 3.49 per set, as she ranks fourth in the MW. Kaitlyn Vanhoof leads Utah State in hitting percentage at .332 (114-35-238). Defensively, Ashlan Rogers-Court ranks second in the MW in digs at 4.59 per set. Elle Brainard leads USU and ranks third in the MW in blocks at 1.56 per stanza.