Powered by a season-high 13 kills from senior middle blocker Laura Beach and a career-high 11 from redshirt freshman outside hitter Bayly Poor, the University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team withstood all challenges and emerged with a thrilling straight-set victory (25-21, 25-14, 25-15) over LIU Brooklyn at the Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus on Saturday.
Senior setter Courtney Chacon recorded a season-high 37 assists to guide the Wyoming offense to a season-best .340 hitting percentage. It was her third match this season with at least 30 assists. Senior outside hitter Kayla Slofkiss posted seven kills and nine digs for UW, as sophomore Reed Copeland posted a season-high eight blocks in addition to five kills for the Cowgirls. Poor was one dig away from her first-career double-double, and junior Lily Austin also recorded nine digs against the Blackbirds.
Tied at 11-11 in the first set, a few attacking errors from the Blackbirds put the Cowgirls up 14-11, before LIU Brooklyn raced back to even things at 16-16. A service ace from Chacon and two from Beach were part of a Cowgirl rally that allowed UW to hold on for the set one victory, 25-22. Beach led the way offensively with six kills and two service aces. Redshirt freshman Bayly Poor had four kills, while Chacon dished out 14 assists in the first stanza.
Two kills from Poor and one from Copeland gave Wyoming a 14-10 lead in the second set. After LIU Brooklyn called time, UW kept its rhythm and ran away with it. Wyoming went on an 11-4 run to close out the set. Poor once again had four kills to pace UW in the second set. Chacon recorded 11 assists, while Copeland had three of her eight blocks.
The Cowgirls jumped out to a 6-4 lead in the third set and never looked back. UW recorded runs of 6-0 and 9-5 to close out the set and claim the sweep over LIU Brooklyn. Beach and Chacon showed their senior leadership in the final frame. Beach, who also recorded a career-high four service aces, had five kills in the final set, as Chacon had 12 assists. Poor and Austin each had three digs to help close out the sweep over LIU Brooklyn.
Wyoming will be back in action at next week’s UniWyo Invite in Laramie. The tournament will be held Sept. 9-10 and will include Eastern Washington, Samford and CSU-Northridge.