Wyoming women’s volleyball returns to the road this weekend for a pair of Mountain West matches. The Cowgirls (12-8, 5-2 MW) begin the road stand on Thursday, when they take on Fresno State (11-8, 2-6 MW) at 8 p.m. MT. The team follows the Fresno State date by facing off against San Jose State (9-11, 2-6 MW) on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“We know this next week is big for us and this road trip is very important,” UW head coach Chad Callihan said. “Offensively, I’d like a couple more players to step up and help us score, we know we can’t have just rely on one or two to carry us each night. This weekend will be a challenge for us. I hope we can play a little more consistent, as these two teams tend to play very well in their gym.”
UW enters Thursday night after splitting its last two MW matches. The Cowgirls played just its second and third five-set matches this past weekend against San Diego State and Nevada. Wyoming defeated the Aztecs before falling to the Wolf Pack in Laramie. Sophomore Reed Copeland paced UW against SDSU with her first-career double-double, as senior Laura Beach tied her career-high of 17 kills against Nevada on Saturday. Senior Courtney Chacon posted her fifth double-double of the season to help lead UW over SDSU, before leading Wyoming with 38 assists against Nevada.
On the season, Chacon is ninth in the MW with an average of 8.57 assists per set. She led the team with 626 assists as a junior, and currently has a team-high 583. Chacon remains sixth all-time with 2,941 assists during her career. She is 59 assists and 51 digs away from being the third Cowgirl with 3,000 assists and 900 digs. She would join Chris Lambert (1983-86) and Jil Robins (1991-94). Copeland and Beach are third and tenth, respectively, in the MW in total blocks. Copeland has 89 (1.33 bps), while Beach has 69 (1.01 bps). Additionally, Beach is now seventh all-time for Wyoming with 387 total blocks during her career. Freshman Madi Fields has moved into the top-ten in the MW in digs. She is averaging 2.87 per set, while junior Lily Austin is close behind with 2.76 per set. Senior Kayla Slofkiss continues to lead UW in kills, as she currently has 184 (2.71 kps) this season. Slofkiss is 63 kills from being the 11th Cowgirl to record 1,000 in their career.
Against Fresno State earlier in the year, Chacon dished out 31 assists to help UW claim the three-set victory. Slofkiss recorded her second double-double of the season with 11 kills and 11 digs, while Fields had a match-high 14 digs for the Brown and Gold. Slofkiss led the team with nine kills against San Jose State on Sept. 22. Chacon had 20 assists, while Copeland had 11 total blocks as well as six kills. Copeland earned the MW’s Defensive Player of the Week honors after competing against San Jose State and Fresno State earlier this season.
Fresno State’s two conference wins came at home against New Mexico and Air Force. Senior Aleisha Coates leads the team with 264 kills (3.72 kps), which is fourth-best in the MW. redshirt freshman Madelyn Halteman is tenth in the MW with 8.57 assists per set, while she is also ninth with 22 service aces. Junior Jacqueline Hutcheson leads the MW with 38 service aces (0.54 saps), as senior Maggie Eppright has a total of 263 digs (3.70 dps), for sixth in the conference.
Like the Bulldogs, the two conference wins for SJSU also came against New Mexico and Air Force at home. Before its match against Air Force on Saturday, the Spartans had lost its previous four matches. Junior Breann Robinson is seventh in the MW with an average of 9.35 assists per set. Junior Nandyala Game leads SJSU with 99 total blocks (1.32 bps), which is fourth in the conference. Additionally, sophomore Luiza Andrade is also fourth in the MW with 310 digs (4.13 dps).