Cowgirls Volleyball Tunes Up for Season With Weekend Exhibitions

LARAMIE, Wyo.  – The Wyoming volleyball team will tuneup for the start of the 2018 season next week with a pair of exhibition matches this weekend -- traveling to Northern Colorado on Friday and holding a brown and Gold scrimmage at home on Saturday.

Head coach Chad Callihan returns nine letterwinners from his 2017 squad that finished second in the Mountain West and went 17-14 overall. The team qualified for the National Invitational Volleyball Championship and saw the program’s first postseason action since 1994. Wyoming was picked to finish second in the Mountain West in the preseason coaches’ poll.

Northern Colorado finished the 2017 season 14-16 and 7-9 in Big Sky play. Picked to finish sixth in the 2018 Big Sky preseason poll, the young Bears bring in eight newcomers this season to help account for the losses of all-conference middle blockers Alex Kloehn and Emily O'Neil.

Wyoming will begin its 2018 season with its Rumble in the Rockies tournament next weekend when it plays host to No. 15 Colorado, North Florida and Oral Roberts in the UW Arena-Auditorium. The Cowgirls will serve up their first match of the weekend on Friday at 12 p.m. MT against North Florida, followed by a 7 p.m. contest against Oral Roberts. The Brown and Gold will close out the event on Sunday at 7 p.m. against Colorado.

Notes Heading into the Weekend:

-          Chad Callihan became the second head coach in Wyoming volleyball history to earn 100 wins with the victory over San Jose State on Nov. 9, 2017. He currently has won 102 games during his five seasons in Laramie. Only Hall of Fame coach Mike English has won more games at UW. English went 124-86 in seven seasons.

-          During Chad Callihan’s tenure, the Cowgirls have a 59-33 mark in MW play, which as a percentage ranks second among active MW coaches and fifth all-time.

-          Returning Cowgirls Jackie McBride and Tara Traphagan were named All-MW last season. Freshman Marissa Harmon was honorable mention All-MW and the MW Freshman of the Year. It was the seventh-consecutive season UW had at least two representatives on the All-MW team.

-          Harmon has led UW in assists during the last 19 matches, and 28 of the Cowgirls’ last 31. Additionally, she led the squad with nine double-doubles in 2017. Sophomore Halie McArdle, who had four, and Emily Lewis, who had one, were the only other Cowgirls to record a double-double last season.

-          Cowgirl senior Reed Copeland will enter her final season fourth all-time with 463 blocked shots. Kristina Dzelme (1993-96) is sitting third with 573 total blocks. Copeland is also sitting 11th all-time in career hitting percentage with .271 (553-219-1233) as a Cowgirl. Katie Donahue (1984-88) holds the tenth spot in career hitting percentage at .272.

-          Wyoming junior Madi Fields hits the halfway point in her career with 724 digs. As a sophomore, she posted 427 to tie for the fifth-best in a single season for the Brown and Gold. She will look to move into the top-ten in program history this season. Chris Lambert (1983-86) is tenth all-time for UW with 949 career digs.