Familiar foes, new challenges await the University of Wyoming women’s volleyball team this weekend. UW will continue Mountain West play as it prepares to meet UNLV and New Mexico on the road. The third week of MW action will begin on Thursday as UW will face the Rebels at 7 p.m. MT, and then continue to Saturday for a midday contest with the Lobos.
“This team is playing consistent right now,” UW head coach Chad Callihan said. “We were steady and have been executing at a high level, which is great to see. We were able to take advantage of a couple errors to separate ourselves on the road against Utah State. This team knows that we won’t see anything this weekend that we haven’t already played against. I think that has prepared them and helped them progress as the season continues. UNLV is balanced offensively and defensively, and when we matchup against them we will really have to execute.”
Wyoming currently has a four-match win streak after collecting its ninth straight-set win of the season against Utah State on Saturday. UW had nine total sweeps last season. The Cowgirls came away with their second-consecutive win in Logan, Utah, thanks in part to seniors Laura Beach, Courtney Chacon and Kayla Slofkiss. Chacon was named the MW’s Offensive Player of the Week after recording a season-high 40 assists and four kills against the Aggies. Beach and Slofkiss had 28 kills and 11 digs between the two to help UW defeat the Aggies. Defensively, junior Lily Austin continues to lead UW with 168 digs (3.29 dps), while sophomore Reed Copeland has recorded 63 total blocks (1.24 bps). Chacon has 434 assists (8.51 aps) during her senior season, while Slofkiss has a team-best 131 kills (2.57 kps).
UNLV will welcome the Cowgirls with a perfect 4-0 conference mark and a 15-1 overall record. The Rebels, who are 8-0 at home, are hitting .237 compared to .166 for its opponents. Senior middle blocker Bree Hammel has a team-high 242 kills (4.10 kps), in addition to 152 digs (2.58 dps). Junior setter Alexis Patterson was named the MW’s Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, and has 657 assists (11.14 aps) on the season. Hammel is a two-time MW First Team selection, while Patterson earned the honors a year ago. Both were selected to the 2016 All-MW Preseason volleyball team.
New Mexico holds a 10-7 overall mark and a 1-3 record in conference play, with its lone win coming against Air Force. The Lobos have won two of its last three at home and are led by senior outside hitter Cassie House with 213 kills (3.44 kps). Sophomore setter Carson Heilborn has 559 assists (8.60 aps), while redshirt junior libero Ashley Kelsey has 271 digs (4.11 dps). New Mexico was selected to finish just behind Wyoming in the 2016 Preseason Poll. Wyoming has won nine of the last 12 matches against the Lobos and three-consecutive at the Johnson Center in Albuquerque.
The live stream of this weekend’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.