Cowgirls Volleyball Hits the Road, Riding 4-game Winning Streak

From the desk of Harry Endicott

The Wyoming volleyball team embarks on a road trip to UNLV and New Mexico, looking to expand on a four-match winning streak against two challenging opponents.

The Cowgirls (14-6, 6-2) open the road trip on Thursday at 7 p.m. MT in Las Vegas, Nev., against the Rebels. The team will then head to Albuquerque, N.M., for a 12 p.m. MT showdown with the Lobos on Saturday.

The Pokes won their third and fourth-straight matches last weekend inside the UniWyo Sports Complex to wrap up their homestand, knocking off MW opponents Utah State and Boise State. The Cowgirls were led by junior Tara Traphagan who recorded 13 kills and three blocks against Utah State before posting 14 kills and four blocks against Boise State.

UNLV enters Thursday’s match against the Cowgirls at 14-6 with a 5-3 record in MW play. The Rebels split matches last weekend on their California road trip, falling to Fresno State, 3-1, and taking a 3-1 win over San Diego State.

Sophomore outside hitter Mariena Hayden leads the Rebels in kills this season with 350 to rank first in the MW and eighth in the nation. Hayden also ranks first in the nation in service aces with 68.

Thursday’s match against the Rebels will be the 43rd match in the series between the two teams. UNLV owns the 24-18 edge in the series over the first 42 meetings. The Cowgirls, however, have taken two of the last three meetings and six of the last eight over the Rebels.

New Mexico is 11-9 entering the weekend, also boasting a 5-3 record in conference matches. The Lobos are coming off a pair of consecutive losses last weekend, dropping road matches to San Diego State and Fresno State. Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Twitty leads the Lobos in kills with 273 on the year to rank fifth in the MW. Junior middle blocker Victoria Spragg ranks sixth in the conference in total blocks with 87 on the season.

Wyoming and New Mexico will be meeting for the 77th time on Saturday. The Cowgirls are 42-34 against the Lobos in the previous 76 meetings. Wyoming has won five of the last six over New Mexico, including a 3-1 win in Albuquerque last season.