Cowgirls Volleyball Comes Up Short for 2nd Day at Cyclone Classic

From the Desk of Harry Endicott

AMES, Iowa — The Wyoming volleyball team’s comeback bid came up just short on Friday, the Cowgrils dropping a five-set match Syracuse, leaving them winless in their first two matches at the Cyclone Classic.

The Cowgirls (8-3) will play Iowa at 11 a.m., Saturday in its final match.

After dropping the first two sets in Friday’s match, the Cowgirls (8-3) won the next two sets, but Syrauces edged the Cowgirls in the fifth. 

Wyoming’s offense was led by senior Emily Lewis, who scored a career high-tying 21 kills on a .347 hitting percentage, along with seven digs and four blocks. Setter Cori Aafedt tallied her third career double-double and first since 2015 with a career best 33 assists and season high 15 digs.

The Cowgirls combined for 16 blocks as a team, the most by the squad in a five-set match this season, led by senior Reed Copeland with nine. Junior libero Madi Fields recorded 20 digs in the match to lead all players.

Unable to find a steady offense, Wyoming dropped the first set, 25-18, to the Orange. The Cowgirls opened with a 2-1 lead, but Syracuse took control with an 8-1 run in response and never looked back, finishing off the frame to take the upper hand early.

In the second, the Pokes battled but came up just short again, 25-22.  The two teams went back and forth in the frame, which featured 12 ties and seven lead changes, as Wyoming took a 22-20 lead late. The Orange would respond, however, going on a 5-0 run to finish off the period.

The Cowgirls were able to get on the board in the third, outlasting Syracuse in extra points for the 31-29 win to force a fourth set and keep the match alive. Wyoming and Syracuse traded points again in the third, combining for 14 ties and six lead changes. The Pokes were able to jump up, 22-18, late but another push from the Orange forced a tie at 25. A couple of ties later—and after the Cowgirls fought off four match points—the teams found themselves knotted at 29-all; with the match on the line, the Pokes got huge kills from Traphagan and Lewis to clinch the set.

The Cowgirls led the entirety of the fourth set, coming out with a 25-18 win to send the match to a decisive fifth set. The Pokes turned in a .243 hitting percentage with six blocks in the frame to overwhelm the Orange and extend the match.

The fifth set was another back-and-forth frame, as the teams switched leads five times; however, it was Syracuse that was able to run off a couple-straight points at the end of the period to win, 15-13.