The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team swept both of its matches on Saturday to claim the UniWyo Invite title. Wyoming picked up victories over CSUN (25-21, 25-23, 25-15) and Eastern Washington (25-18, 25-12, 25-16) on the final day of the tournament.
During the first match of the day, the Cowgirls were lead offensively by senior Laura Beach with 11 kills and redshirt freshman Bayly Poor with ten. Senior setter Courtney Chacon had a match-high 35 assists for the brown and gold. It was her third match this season with at least 30 assists.
“I felt we may have looked a little stressed at times to begin the day,” UW head coach Chad Callihan said. “But it’s not always bad to be in those situations. It was great to see this team continue to compete, especially when the scores are close. Our rhythm continued into tonight’s match, which we were expecting. We want to go out there and be aggressive, and I thought we did that for the most part.”
Sophomore Emily Lewis added nine kills for UW, as senior Kayla Slofkiss smashed home seven. Sophomore Reed Copeland had another solid match for UW. She had five kills and led both squads with five total blocks. Beach and Slofkiss had three and four roofs, respectively, as junior Lily Austin and Chacon led the Cowgirls with nine digs each against the Matadors.
The Matadors made the first few moves to begin the match and jumped out to a 5-0 lead. UW came storming back to tie it at ten and never looked back. Beach, Lewis and Poor led the offensive effort in the opening set with three kills each. Chacon dished out her first nine assists.
Wyoming fell behind in the second stanza by a score of 10-5 before marching back to tie it at 16, just before a CSUN timeout. Chacon passed out 16 assists in the second set, while Slofkiss led the way with five kills.
The final frame saw four ties and only two lead changes, as UW continued its momentum into the third set. Wyoming recorded a match-best .421 hitting percentage in the third to seal the victory. Beach and Lewis each had four kills for the Cowgirls.
In its match against Eastern Washington, UW’s rhythm continued and swept the Eagles for what was its fourth-consecutive straight-set victory. Not only did UW record a .373 hitting percentage to EWU’s .022, it had more kills, digs, assists, service aces and total team blocks against the Eagles.
Copeland was named Tournament MVP and led UW as she tied her career-high in kills with ten against EWU. She had a season-high .643 hitting percentage on the night. Beach and Chacon were also named to the All-Tournament team, as Chacon had a match-high 26 assists and Beach had seven kills and five blocks during the tournament-closing match. Against the Eagles, Chacon moved into seventh place on the all-time assists list as Cowgirl. She now has 2,618 career assists.
Slofkiss and Poor chipped in seven kills apiece, as Chacon and Lewis each added three. Slofkiss and Austin led UW with six digs, while Fields and Chacon had four each.
Chacon was the lone player with double-digits in the first set, as she had ten assists. Copeland led the Cowgirl charge with her first four kills. Beach then posted a team-best four kills in the second frame, as Chacon passed out 12 assists. Seven different Cowgirls had at least one kill in the final stanza to help UW seal the victory.
The Cowgirls will next head to the Idaho Volleyball Classic
this week in Moscow, Idaho. UW will face off against Tennessee Tech, Oregon
State and host Idaho on Sept. 15-16.