FORT COLLINS, Colo. (Nov. 22, 2016) -- The University of Wyoming volleyball team dropped a five-set (25-22, 20-25, 30-28, 25-27, 12-15) thriller to Colorado State on Tuesday night at Moby Arena, capping the 2016 regular season. It was the sixth match this season that went to five sets, and the fifth in Mountain West action.
Sophomore Emily Lewis recorded a career-high 19 kills as senior Courtney Chacon added a career-best 60 assists for the Brown and Gold (18-13, 11-7 MW) against Colorado State (21-8, 15-3 MW). Senior Kayla Slofkiss added her fifth double-double of the season with 14 kills and 13 assists. Fellow senior Laura Beach also recorded 14 kills for UW on Tuesday night, in addition to a team-high nine blocks.
Sophomore Reed Copeland was the fourth Cowgirl in double-digit kills with 11. She also had three blocks against the Border War rival. Freshman Madi Fields added a team-high 19 digs for the Brown and Gold while junior Shelby Johnson recorded a career-high 18 digs against the Rams.
Set one: After a kill from CSU, a net violation gave UW its first point to tie it at one. An ace from Slofkiss began what was a 6-1 run early in the first set for the Brown and Gold. Wyoming held an 8-3 lead to open the first set as two straight kills from Slofkiss would then give Wyoming a 12-6 advantage. With Wyoming up 15-8, CSU called its first timeout of the set. After the timeout, CSU went on a 4-0 run before Wyoming regrouped. UW held a 22-18 lead before tying the set at 22 and forced the Cowgirls to call time. UW earned set point, 24-22, before a net violation gave the Cowgirls a 25-22 set victory.
Set two: After the opening point to begin the match, CSU never led again in the first set. The Rams were able to jump out to a 5-2 lead in the second before a kill from Copeland and a service ace from Fields closed CSU’s gap to one, 5-4. The Cowgirls battled back to tie things at ten before Colorado State went on a 4-1 run. Wyoming called timeout down, 11-14, and then went on a 5-0 scamper after CSU held a 17-12 lead to tie it all at 17. The Rams went on an 8-4 run to take the second set, 25-20. At the break, Chacon had 26 assists as Lewis had recorded eight kills.
Set three: Wyoming quickly ran out to a 3-1 lead before CSU garnered three straight for its first lead in the set, 4-3. Back and forth proved to be the better part of the third frame as there was a number of ties throughout the set. A Wyoming timeout was called with Colorado State up, 16-14. With the set score tied at 19, Fields led UW’s charge with a service ace to give Wyoming a one point lead, 20-19. Slofkiss earned her second block of the match to give Wyoming a 23-22 lead. Wyoming eventually took the third set, 30-28.
Set four: Neither team had a lead more than one before UW moved to an 8-6 advantage in the fourth frame. A net violation by Colorado State once again tied the score at ten. A timeout came from CSU with Wyoming up 13-11. A solo block from Beach then added another point for the Brown and Gold. The third challenge of the match resulted in no net violation and cut Wyoming’s lead to one, 17-16. Wyoming capitalizes once again after tied at 21, the Rams call time after another kill from Lewis. Copeland gave UW set point 25-24 but the Rams gathered two of the next three to take the set, 27-25.
Set five: The Rams earned three of the first four points to take a 3-1 lead. Their points came from three-straight points before UW called time. A 2-0 run made Colorado State call timeout with a 7-6 lead. Wyoming then took its timeout with CSU leading 13-10 and a kill from Slofkiss cut the Rams lead to two. Colorado State would go on to take the set, 15-11 and the match, 3-2.
The NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship will be announced this Sunday on ESPNU at 7 p.m. MT.
-The 66 total team kills on Tuesday night set a season high. The previous best was when UW recorded 58 against Utah State on Oct. 27. Additionally, the 63 assists was also the best of the year. The Cowgirls had dished out 52 once again versus Utah State in late October.
-Wyoming recorded 77 team digs against the Rams to close out the regular season. The high before Tuesday's match was 62 when New Mexico payed UW a visit on Nov. 3.
-Courtney Chacon is in sixth place in Cowgirl history with 3,352 career assists. She is 10th with 943 career digs and is also sixth all-time with 441 sets played. Chacon leads all active MW players with 37 career double-doubles. She needs one more double-double to be tied tenth all-time in MW history.
-Laura Beach is fifth all-time with 439 total blocks. Reese Plante (2010-13) is fourth all-time with 440 career blocks. Furthermore, Beach is now 18 kills away from 1,000 for her career. She continues to hold the top spot in career hitting percentage (.372) and her .399 percentage this year is third-best in a single season.
-Kayla Slofkiss is eighth with 951 career digs and 11th with 1,037 kills while wearing the Brown and Gold. She is also eighth in sets played with 427. Slofkiss joined Jodi Purdy (2009-12), Ronda Munger (1984-87) and Michele Rauter (2000-03) as the only players with 1,000 kills and 900 digs during their career.
-Reed Copeland now needs only 9 blocks to become tied for tenth all-time at UW. She has 338 for her career.
-The senior class of Laura Beach, Courtney Chacon and Kayla Slofkiss have won 85 matches as Cowgirls. The 85 victories are third all-time as a class. Bridget Shanahan was the lone four-year senior a year ago and helped Wyoming win 88 matches from 2012-15, while the 1983-86 teams won 86 matches for UW.