Sept. 24, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team (8-5 overall, 0-1 MW) closes out an 11-game road swing this week with a pair of Mountain West contests. The Cowgirls open the week at New Mexico (10-1 overall, 0-1 MW) on Thursday at 7 p.m. MT. Wyoming will end the week on Saturday at Air Force (3-10 overall, 0-1 MW) at 6 p.m. MT. UW looks to extend its winning streak over Air Force, as the Cowgirls have won 18-consecutive matches against the Falcons, dating back to Sept. 25, 2004.
The Cowgirls return to MW play this week after opening the conference season against #22 Colorado State last Wednesday evening in Fort Collins, Colo. The Rams defeated UW in three-sets (23-25,22-25,21-25). Wyoming also played a pair of non-conference matches last Friday at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. UW defeated UC Riverside in four sets (25-23,25-13,21-25,25-15) to open the day, but UW fell in the night cap to Utah Valley in four sets (16-25,17-25,25-21,17-25).
Senior libero Becky Stewart made history last week by recording 23 digs against CSU. Stewart became Wyoming's career digs leader that night, as she has 1,316 in her career with the Cowgirls. Stewart is also 18 digs away from moving into 10th in career digs in Mountain West history. Junior middle blocker Erin Kirby notched a career-high 13 blocks against UC Riverside. Kirby continues to lead the nation with 99 blocks on the season.
New Mexico comes into Thursday's match with an impressive 10-1 overall record and 1-0 in Mountain West play. The Lobos have won nine straight matches dating back to Aug. 30. New Mexico opened the MW season last week with a four set (25-17,25-21,21-25,26-24) win over Air Force. The Lobos were in action on Monday evening, as UNM downed in-state rival New Mexico State in five sets (25-17,23-25,19-25,25-12,15-10). New Mexico has been one of the strongest defensive teams in the MW this season. The Lobos lead the league in opponent hitting percentage at .099 (430-289-1431). UNM is second in the MW in blocks at 2.75 per set and digs at 15.27 per frame. Redshirt junior right-side hitter Chantale Riddle leads the MW and ranks 48th nationally with 152 kills on the season, as she is averaging 3.80 per set for the Lobos. Defensively, senior libero Miquella Lovato paces New Mexico and ranks second in the MW in digs, as she is averaging 4.75 per set.
Air Force heads into this weekend's match sporting a 3-10 overall record and 0-1 mark in the MW. Last Saturday, the Falcons split a pair of matches. Air Force defeated UC Riverside in four sets (25-17,25-19,25-22) in the opener, as they snapped a four-match losing streak. The Falcons fell to Utah Valley in the finale in five sets (25-18,18-25,19-25,25-18,3-15). Air Force opened MW play with a four-set loss to New Mexico. Sophomore outside hitter Akokwe Clement leads the Falcons in kills on the season with at 2.73 per set with 134 on the season. Junior Emma Dridge paces the defensive charge for the Falcons, as the libero is averaging 3.15 digs per set on the season.