Wyoming to Host UniWyo Invite

Match Notes | Live stats & video: v. Samford | Live stats & video: v. CSUN | Live stats & video: v. EWU

CSUN v. EWU: Live stats

EWU v. Samford: Live stats

Samford v. CSUN: Live stats

The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team will host its lone non-conference tournament this weekend in the UniWyo Sports Complex. The Cowgirls will welcome Samford, CSUN and Eastern Washington to Laramie for the UniWyo Invite, presented by UniWyo Federal Credit Union. UW will play at 6:30 p.m., on Friday against Samford before playing at noon on Saturday against the CSUN Matadors. Wyoming will then close out the tournament at 7 p.m. against Big Sky Conference member Eastern Washington.

Friday’s match with the Bulldogs will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools, as the all-time series with CSUN is tied 1-1 with Wyoming winning the last meeting in 1991. UW holds a 2-0 all-time advantage against the Eastern Washington Eagles. Wyoming is coming off a straight-set victory over LIU Brooklyn on Saturday, before falling to then-ranked No. 11 Ohio State and No. 10 BYU.

“Any team may feel a little more comfortable in their own facility,” UW head coach Chad Callihan said. “It will be nice to be home and be in an environment we are used to. There were several positives from this past weekend, even though the scoreboard may not have reflected that. I think we have handled the past couple of weeks pretty well. At times, we we’ve still trying to figure out our side of the net and what our identity is, but I expect the chemistry to strengthen. We know that these teams are well balanced, so we need to make sure we are ready to come out and compete.”

Redshirt freshman Bayly Poor was named to the All-Tournament team at the Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic this past weekend. She recorded 20 kills (2.86 kps) and 11 digs, in addition to making her first career start against No. 11 Ohio State. Through seven matches this season, seniors Laura Beach (2.41 kps) and Kayla Slofkiss (2.32 kps) lead UW offensively with 53 and 51 kills, respectively. Slofkiss is also second on the team with 70 digs. Senior setter Courtney Chacon has recorded 174 assists (7.91 aps), while junior defensive specialist Lily Austin has a team-high 93 digs (4.23 dps). Sophomore middle blocker Reed Copeland has 23 (1.05 bps) total blocks for the Cowgirls.

The Samford Bulldogs are 5-2 on the season and have been led by redshirt sophomore outside hitter Katie Neisler with 92 kills (4.00 kps). Most recently, Samford swept through its own tournament last weekend. They picked up wins over Radford, Tennessee Tech and Northwestern State. Senior outside hitter Erin Bognar is close behind and second on the team with 86 kills (4.10 kps). Senior setter Erika Pifer has a team-high 222 assists (9.25 aps), while freshman outside hitter Grace Tiesman has recorded 83 digs (3.46 dps). Additionally, redshirt junior middle blocker T.J. Russell has 28 total blocks (1.17 bps) for the Bulldogs.

The CSUN Matadors hold a 3-3 record after winning twice at the UNLV Invite. The Matadors defeated Hofstra in five sets before sweeping Sacramento State last weekend. Senior outside hitter Julie Haake has a team-best 102 kills on the year, while sophomore outside hitter Aeryn Owens is second on the team with 84. Junior setter Lauren Conati has recorded 254 assists and has an average of 10.16 per set, as junior defensive specialist Katie Sato has 117 digs (4.68 dps) on the season.

The Eastern Washington Eagles also have a 3-3 mark on the season. At the Grand Canyon University tournament this past weekend, EWU defeated Cal State Fullerton in straight sets, before claiming a comeback victory over Eastern Kentucky. Sophomore outside hitter Jessica Gilbert leads EWU with 59 kills (2.95 kps) on the season, she also has 12 total blocks. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Kimberly Brinkworth has a team-best 17 blocks (0.85 bps) for the Eagles. Senior setter Sophie Miller has 163 assists (8.15 aps), while junior defensive specialist Megan LaFond has 59 digs (4.21 dps).

The video stream of Wyoming’s matches will be available through GoWyo.com, and will also be available for viewing on the Mountain West Network at TheMW.com and on Campus Insiders at CampusInsiders.com. Links for live stats of all matches this weekend will be provided above.