Cowgirls Volleyball Suffers First MW Loss at Fresno State

From the desk of Harry Endicott

Fresno, Ca. — The Wyoming volleyball team came up short in their third MW match of the season Thursday night, falling to Fresno State on the road at the Save Mart Center.

 The Cowgirls (10-5, 2-1 MW) were led offensively by senior Emily Lewis, who overcame a difficult first set to record 14 kills on a .214 hitting percentage, along with 14 digs, the fifth double-double of her career and first of the season. Junior Halie McArdle also posted double-digit kills with 12 on a .241 clip. Setters Cori Aafedt and Marissa Hines each eclipsed the 20-assist mark, with Aafedt totaling 23 and Hines adding a career-high 20.

 Junior libero Madi Fields anchored the Wyoming defense with 25 digs—her sixth match this season of 20 or more and third match of 25 or more. Fields also jumped into ninth on the school’s all-time record book for digs in a career, surpassing Kayla Slofkiss (951, 2013-16) and Chris Lambert (949, 1983-86) with 969.

 Wyoming recorded 11 blocks as a team on the night, led by sophomore Jackie McBride with seven and followed by junior Tara Traphagan with five.

 Wyoming got off to a slow start in the opening set, falling behind, 12-4. The Pokes were able to string together a few runs to claw back and close back in on the Bulldogs, eventually cutting the score to two at 22-20, but Fresno State closed it out with a 25-21 win to gain the upper hand early.

 The Cowgirls got on the board in the second, taking the 25-23 set win to even the team score at one set apiece. The Pokes and Bulldogs went back and forth to start the frame, but a 5-0 run from Wyoming provided a 10-5 advantage that the team needed to take control of the set. Fresno State would tie the set twice, but the Cowgirls wouldn’t allow the Bulldogs to take another lead.

 The Brown and Gold struggled to find a rhythm in the third and fourth sets, with the Bulldogs taking the third, 25-19, and the fourth, 25-21, to close out the match.

 Following a 5-1 Wyoming lead to open the third, Fresno State gained control of the set near the midway point, expanding their lead to as many as seven before eventually taking the frame.

 With their backs against the wall, the Cowgirls bounced back from a difficult start that saw the Bulldogs jump out to a 14-9 lead. Wyoming would chip away at the home team’s lead, cutting it to 21-20 late, but the Bulldogs would pull away down the stretch to finish off the match.

 The Cowgirls road trip concludes against San Diego State on Saturday.