Cowgirls sweep Missouri to cap UniWyo Invite
LARAMIE -- The Wyoming volleyball team capped the UniWyo Invite in style Saturday night in Laramie, as the Cowgirls closed the tournament with a 25-13, 25-22 and 25-22 sweep of Missouri. UW went 2-1 at the invite and improved its record to 6-3 overall on the season.
After taking the first set handily, the Cowgirls had to battle their way from behind to secure set victories in the second and third. In the second, Wyoming trailed by as many as three, 15-12 before rallying to tie things up at 18-18. After back-to-back points from the Tigers (2-7) made it 20-18, the Cowgirls scored four consecutive points to take a 22-18 lead. Two of those points came via ace from KC McMahon.
McMahon, who was named to the all-tournament team, had nine kills on the night and hit .600 in the win. McMahon was joined on the all-tournament team along with Faith Waitsman.
Wyoming trailed for much of the third set as well and was down 18-16 late in the set. The Cowgirls would once again get a nice run late, this time a 5-0 streak which put UW up 21-18. It was a lead the Cowgirls wouldn’t relinquish in the final moments of the match. McMahon and Hailey Zuroske each had a pair of kills late in the set for the Cowgirls.
“I think we dug more balls tonight,” said UW head coach Chad Callihan after the match. “Last night we didn’t set the tone early and I thought tonight we did a better job of establishing ourselves early in this match. We just have to dig balls, we can score, but at some point you have to be able to stop somebody and I thought we did a better job of that this evening.”
Zuroske led the Brown and Gold with 10 kills in the sweep and also added five digs, a solo block and a pair of service aces on the night. Jackie McBride chipped in with five kills, while Lydeke King and Waitsman had four each.
Kaitlyn Gehler led the back row with six digs against the Tigers, with Erika Jones adding five. Payton Chamberlain led the way with 17 assists on the night and Abby Olsen added 12. For the match, the Cowgirls hit .313 while Missouri hit .226.
Wyoming also had a big advantage at the service line Saturday night, as the Cowgirls tallied six aces to Missouri’s one. The Tigers also had 12 service errors on the night, compared to Wyoming’s four.
“I think we’re doing well from where we were at the beginning of the season,” Callihan said. “I thought this was a big step-up in competition this weekend, so I think to get out of here 2-1 and feel like we learned some things about ourselves, that’s pretty important.”
UW now shifts its focus to its final non-conference tournament of the season, as it travels to the Wichita State Shocker Volleyball Classic Sept. 18 and 19 in Kansas. The Cowgirls will face host-Wichita State, as well as nationally-ranked Creighton and NCAA Tournament participant South Dakota.
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