Courtesy Wyoming Media Realtions
The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (12-8 overall, 2-4 MW) had their four-match winning streak snapped by the Utah State Aggies (10-7 overall, 4-3 MW) in a four-set loss (15-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-27) on Saturday night in Laramie.
Junior Erin Kirby led the way with a match high 13 kills while adding five block assists and a .333 (13-3-30) hitting percentage. Bridget Shanahan and Reese Plante each added ten kills each, while Calli Fry finished with eight kills. Libero Becky Stewart recorded a team high 28 digs and sophomore Kaitlyn Johnson had a career high 19 digs. As a team, Wyoming hit .130 (51-28-177) for the match and recorded nine total blocks.
Utah State was led by three players who finished the match with 12 kills. Tumua Etimani recorded 12 kills plus 21 digs. The Aggies hit .122 (50-29-172) for the match and had 14 total team blocks.
"We didn't come prepared to compete tonight," said head coach Chad Callihan. "There were a lot of things going on this weekend and I think we let those distractions disrupt our ability to compete. It was nice for us to come out in the third set. We had some time to talk about it and that we weren't executing that well. We came out and got some things done. Utah State is a talented team, very good defensively so you have stayed focused."
Utah State stormed out in the first set taking a 9-3 advantage. A kill by Reese Plante ended the drought and started a 9-5 run from the Cowgirls to close the gap to 14-12. The Aggies scored the next three points to make it 17-12. Unfortunately, Wyoming managed to score only three more points in the set as they would fall 25-15.
The Cowgirls scored the first three of four points to go up 3-1 in the second set. USU responded with six of the next eight points to take the 7-5 lead. Wyoming tied it up at eight and then scored three of the next to go ahead 12-9. The Aggies chipped away at the lead and evened the score at 13, then retook the lead 19-16. The Cowgirls battled their way back into it with a 5-2 run making the score 21 all. The two teams traded points until a kill and block assist by Utah State gave them the set 25-23.
In the third set, the momentum shifted over to the Cowgirls as they opened up a 6-1 lead. Utah State answered with three straight points to close the gap to 6-4. Wyoming responded with a 7-3 run to pull ahead by six, 13-7. They would maintain that lead over the next several points until the Aggies make it a four-point contest, 17-13. The Cowgirls got the lead back to eight with a 6-2 lead and went on to win the set, 25-19.
Wyoming continued to play strong as they went up 6-3 in the fourth set. Utah State went on an 8-4 run to take their first lead of the set 11-10. The Cowgirls answered with an 8-3 run of their own to give them the 18-14 advantage. Six straight points by the Aggies out of a timeout put them ahead by two, 20-18. UW rallied back with two straight kills from Kirby and then the scoring went back and forth. With it all tied up at 25 all, two Kills by Rachel Orr gave the Aggies the set, 27-25, and the match 3-1.
The Cowgirls will return to action on the road Thursday, Oct. 17, against the San Diego State Aztecs followed by a match-up with the UNLV Rebels, on Saturday, Oct. 19. Both matches are slated for 8:00 p.m. MT.