Cowgirls Volleyball Team California Dreamin' In Search of Wins

From the desk of Harry Endicott

LARAMIE — After opening the conference season with a pair of wins last weekend, the Cowgirls volleyball team heads to California this week for Mountain West matches at Fresno State and San Diego State.

The Cowgirls (10-4, 2-0 MW) will play at Fresn on Thursday night and San Diego Saturday on Saturday night. 

“If you want to be a champion, like we’ve talked about, you need to go in and win these matches on the road against tough opponents,” head coach Chad Callihan said. “I think we’ve been pretty good on the road the last couple of years, so hopefully we can continue that trend.”

Wyoming is coming off a 2-0 showing in their opening weekend of Mountain West play, picking up a pair of sweeps over San Jose State and Nevada. Outside Hitter Halie McArdle led the Wyoming offense with 17 kills on the weekend. Reed Copeland turned in another solid effort on defense with 17 total blocks, while Madi Fields recorded 36 digs, nine assists and two service aces.

Copeland was named MW Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts, marking her second weekly conference honor of the season. It marked the third MW Player of the Week honor for the team in 2018. Sophomore Jackie McBride was named Offensive Player of the Week following the opening week of the season.

 Fresno State heads into the match with the Cowgirls at 9-5 after picking up a 3-0 win at San Diego State last Friday in their MW opener. The Bulldogs wrapped up their nonconference schedule with an 8-5 record that included wins over Valparaiso, San Francisco and Portland State.

Taylor Slover leads Fresno State in kills with 202 on a .202 hitting percentage. Setter Madelyn Haltman has paced the team in assists with 510 so far this season to rank third in the MW. Sophomore libero Reagan Leonard leads the MW  in digs with 275, while middle blocker Montez Uigaese has racked up 62 total blocks so far this season. Head coach Jonathan Winder is in his first year at the helm of the Bulldog program. 

Thursday’s match at Fresno State will mark the 30th in the series that dates back to 1979. The Cowgirls have a 17-12 edge. 

The Aztecs enter the weekend with a 1-13 overall record after opening their MW schedule with loses to Fresno State and Air Force. Senior middle blocker Deja Harris leads the Aztecs in kills with 182 on a .358 hitting percentage that ranks fifth in the MW. Harris also ranks fifth in the MW with a 1.23 blocks per set average and fourth with 4.23 points per set. Setter Delaney Taylor ranks sixth in the MW averaging 8.37 assists per set. Head coach Deitre Collins-Parker enters her 10th season at San Diego State with a 147-140 overall record since taking over the program.

The Cowgirls and Aztecs will be meeting for the 53rd time in the series, which dates back to 1979. San Diego State has a 37-15 lead in the series; however, Wyoming has won four of the last five matches and seven of the last nine.