The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team will close the nonconference portion of its schedule this weekend at the Idaho Volleyball Classic. UW will start with host and Big Sky Conference member Idaho at 5:30 p.m. MT on Thursday, then Oregon State at 11 a.m. and Tennessee Tech at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Live stats will be available and all three of UW’s matches will be streamed on WatchBigSky.com.
“We will see a few good teams again this weekend,” UW head coach Chad Callihan said. “I think they mirror what we may see in the Mountain West. We had a great week of training leading up to last weekend and the result of that training was the success we had in our matches. I feel like we have improved each week and we hope to continue that growth.”
Wyoming looks to maintain its positive momentum this week after it has won four-consecutive straight set matches. The Cowgirls won the UniWyo Invite this past weekend by defeating Samford, CSUN and Eastern Washington. Sophomore Reed Copeland was named tournament MVP, as seniors Laura Beach and Courtney Chacon were named to the All-Tournament team.
Through the first ten matches of the 2016 season, Beach is not only leading UW in hitting percentage but sits in first in the Mountain West conference. Wyoming’s all-time leader in hitting percentage is hitting .444 this year. Chacon is ninth in the MW with an average of 8.39 assists per set. She also moved into seventh place on Wyoming’s all-time assists list, and now has 2,618 for her career. Junior Lily Austin has recorded 111 digs this season, and additionally is ninth in the MW after averaging 3.58 digs per set for the Cowgirls.
Idaho currently sports a 4-5 record after winning its first three matches. The Vandals are led offensively by sophomore outside hitter’s Kaela Straw and Sarah Sharp. Straw has 94 total kills (2.76 kps) this season, as Sharp has 93 (2.66 kps). Haylee Mathis has 175 assists (5.00 aps), while freshman setter Megan Ramseyer has chipped in 155 (4.43 aps). Senior defensive specialist Terra Varney leads Idaho with 153 digs (4.37 dps), and sophomore middle blocker DeVonne Ryter has a team-best 33 total blocks so far this year.
Oregon State and its 4-4 record have been paced by redshirt sophomore Lanesha Reagan with 121 kills. Her 2.90 kills per set average is tied for third in the Pac-12. Reagan recorded 25 kills against Utah State earlier this season and is still tied for the most by any Pac-12 player this season. Junior outside hitter Mary-Kate Marshall has 113 kills so far, and is also tied for third in the conference with an average of 3.90 kills per set. Redshirt sophomore McKenna Hollingsworth is fourth in the Pac-12 with 9.80 assists per set and 304 total assists.
Tennessee Tech is 4-6 on the season as sophomore outside hitter Shealene Little has a team-best 92 kills (2.88 kps). Senior setter Sharon Anderson is leading the Ohio Valley Conference with 350 assists and a 10.00 average per set. Senior defensive specialist Kennedy Wade is third in the OVC with 166 digs (4.61 dps), while junior defensive specialist Allison Morrett has 14 service aces to lead the Golden Eagles and sit fourth in the conference.
This week’s matchups will be the tenth all-time between the Cowgirls and Idaho. UW leads the series, 7-2, while Oregon State holds a 5-1 advantage between the two schools. Saturday’s challenge will be the first against Tennessee Tech.