Cowgirls Volleyball Extends Win Streak to 4 With Win Against Boise State

From the desk of Harry Endicott

LARAMIE, Wyo.  – The Wyoming volleyball team ran its winning streak to four matches in a row with a 3-1 victory against Boise State at the UniWyo Sports Complex Saturday. 

“I don’t know that we won that one as much as we escaped,” head coach Chad Callihan said. “It didn’t feel like we were in the rhythm that we are capable of playing in. I understand that we’re going to have some down matches sometimes, but credit to them for the way they played at the end. A lot on the line with a lot of pressure, and I thought that we played some of our best volleyball there. I’d like to see us be able to come out and do that at the beginning.”

Holding the Broncos to a .161 hitting percentage to their own .248 mark, the Cowgirls (14-6, 6-2 MW) moved to 13-1 this season when holding their opponent under .200. Three Pokes finished the day with double-digit kills — junior Tara Traphagan (14), junior Halie McArdle (11) and sophomore Faith Waitsman (10). Traphagan led all players (with multiple kills) in hitting percentage at .393. Setter Cori Aafedt led the team in assists with 26, while Marissa Hines also surpassed the 20-assist mark with 21.

“It was a little bit of a grind,” Traphagan said. “We wish we could have played a bit crisper in some situations. That’s a skill that we have, is when things aren’t going our way we find ways to win. We have confidence in our abilities and we just find ways to score in different places when something’s not working, and we find ways to score when our setters might not be as comfortable.”

Defensively, the Cowgirls combined for 12 blocks, led by sophomore Jackie McBride with six and followed closely by senior Reed Copeland with five. Libero Madi Fields posted her seventh game of 20 or more digs this season with 23 of the team’s 61.

Wyoming started the match off strong, taking the first set, 25-18, over the Broncos. Trailing, 5-4, early in the first, the Cowgirls used a 5-0 run to take a lead they wouldn’t give up again in the frame. Waitsman recorded five of her 10 kills in the frame, posting a .625 hitting percentage in the set with eight total attacks. Copeland and McArdle both added a pair of blocks.

After Boise came out with the 25-21 win in the second to tie the match at a set apiece, Wyoming responded with a 25-21 set victory in the third to regain the lead. It wasn’t easy for the Pokes despite leading most of the set as Boise battled to keep it close, but the Cowgirls ultimately prevailed to take control of the match.

Waitsman and McArdle both scored four kills in the frame to lead the team, while McBride tallied three blocks and Fields recorded eight digs.

Five different Cowgirls recorded multiple kills in a back-and-forth fourth set that included 13 ties and eight lead changes. The Pokes fought off a couple of set points and tied at 25-25, McArdle stepped up to record the final two match-clinching kills off assists from Aafedt for the 27-25 set win.

The Cowgirls return to the road next weekend for contests at UNLV and New Mexico. Wyoming will open the weekend on Thursday at 7 p.m. MT against the Rebels before taking on New Mexico at noon MT on Saturday.