LARAMIE, Wyo. (Nov. 8, 2016) -- The University of Wyoming women’s volleyball team will continue its chase for a Mountain West Championship this week as it hits the road for two matches. UW will play against Nevada on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. MT, before a date with San Diego State on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
“Both Nevada and San Diego State are talented offensively and when they are on, they are hard to stop,” UW head coach Chad Callihan said. “We understand what is at stake and we realize what we need to do. Now it’s just a matter of going out and executing. Just like every week, it is one match at a time.”
Wyoming is currently third in the Mountain West standings with a 10-3 conference mark while Boise State and Colorado State hold the top spot with an 11-2 record. With Saturday’s win over UNLV, UW has won ten or more conference matches in all four years of head coach Chad Callihan's tenure. The Cowgirls came away with two wins last week by defeating New Mexico and UNLV. For their efforts, senior Kayla Slofkiss and freshman Madi Fields were named the MW Offensive and Defensive Players of the week, respectively. It was the second-consecutive honor for Fields and the first of Slofkiss’ career.
Earlier this year, UW defeated San Diego State in five sets. Sophomore Reed Copeland recorded her first double-double with a career-high 19 kills and 13 blocks against the Aztecs. Senior setter Courtney Chacon also had a double-double against SDSU with 45 assists and ten digs. The first time the Cowgirls saw Nevada during the 2016 season ended with the Wolf Pack giving UW its only loss at home this season. Senior Laura Beach led the team tying her career-high of 17 kills in addition to nine blocks. Fields added a match-high 17 digs for the Brown and Gold.
The Aztecs (14-12, 6-7 MW) return to San Diego having lost four of its last five matches. In conference matches, senior Danielle Bolden is second with 0.52 service aces per set. Sophomore Alexandra Psoma is fourth in the MW averaging 3.36 kills per set. Sophomore Indigo Thompson is fifth in assists (10.19 aps) while sophomore Deja Harris is 11th in the league with 1.06 blocks per set.
Nevada (17-8, 8-5 MW) currently has a three match winning streak. The Wolf Pack are the only MW team with two players in the top eight in kills. Senior Madison Morell (3.94 kps) and junior Madison Foley (3.25 kps) lead the squad. Senior Lyndsey Anderson is sixth in assists with an average of 10.06, as senior Kathryn Groenweghe is seventh in hitting percentage (.329). Additionally, freshman Shayla Hoeft is tied seventh in blocks (1.15 bps) and senior Madison Thorpe is 11th in digs (2.81 dps).
- With 46 MW wins, Chad Callihan is tied with Hall of Fame coach Mike English for the most conference wins in Wyoming history.
- Courtney Chacon needs three double-doubles to be tied for tenth all-time in MW history. She leads all active MW players with 35 career double-doubles. Chacon is sixth all-time with 3,178 career assists and is tied seventh with 422 sets played.
- With a .374 hitting percentage, Laura Beach is first all-time in Cowgirl history. She leads the MW and is ninth in the NCAA with a .416 hitting percentage this season. Additionally, her career hitting percentage is fourth-best in MW history.
- Kayla 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 is third in the MW and 29th in the NCAA with 1.33 blocks per set. She has led Wyoming in blocks in 11 different matches.
- Madi Fields is seventh in the MW in digs with an average of 3.63 per set. She has twice been named the MW’s Defensive Player of the Week.
- Wyoming leads the MW and is 13th in the nation with a .153 opponent hitting percentage. UW is also 51st in the nation with 237 total team blocks.
- Aided by a tough nonconference schedule and a 10-1 record at home, the Cowgirl volleyball team sits at No. 61 in the NCAA’s fifth RPI Rankings. UNLV (28th), Boise State (33rd) and Colorado State (47th) are ahead of UW in the rankings.