Cowgirls close Shocker Classic with strong wins
WICHITA, Kan. – After a rough start to the Wichita State Shocker Classic on Friday, the Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team responded with a pair of solid four-set wins Saturday to close the tournament. UW opened the day with a 25-14, 25-14, 20-25, 25-16 win over the host-Shockers, before closing things with a comeback 22-25, 25-23, 25-21 and 25-19 win over South Dakota.
Against the Shockers, the Cowgirls (8-4) controlled much of the early portion of the match to jump out to an early 2-0 set lead. The Cowgirls held the Shockers to just a .106 team hitting percentage in the victory, while hitting .255 of its own.
Teresa Garza led the way offensively for the Cowgirls in the win, tallying a career-high 12 kills in the match. Jackie McBride notched 10 kills and also added six digs, four service aces and a pair of block assists. KC McMahon chipped in with nine kills in the match, while Faith Waitsman added seven and also tallied a career-high 14 digs, her second consecutive match to accomplish the feat.
In the back row, Erika Jones led the way with a season-best 19 digs, while Kaitlyn Gehler added six digs of her own. Payton Chamberlain’s 41 assists in the win, set a new career-high mark for her in that category.
Against the Coyotes to close things, it was a battle of wills the first three sets before the Cowgirls were finally able to grab control in the fourth set, a set it led from start-to-finish.
Naya Shimé got back on track offensively for the Cowgirls in the win, as she recorded a match-high 18 kills, while hitting .351. McMahon added 14 kills of her own, while Waitsman and McBride had eight and seven kills, respectively. McBride and Waitsman both got after it defensively against USD. McBride led the way with six total blocks, while Waitsman was once again in double-figure digs with 10.
Jones once again led the Cowgirls defensively and once again tallied 19 digs in the victory over South Dakota. Hailey Zuroske added 12 and Chamberlain had eight. Chamberlain also set a new career-mark with 45 assists in the match.
As a team, the Brown & Gold hit .208, while USD was held to a .170 clip. USD held a slight 10-8 edge in total blocks, but at the service line, the Cowgirls held the advantage with 10 aces, to South Dakota’s six.
In all, the Cowgirls close its non-conference slate with an 8-4 mark and won both of their true road matches in tournament play. Wyoming sets its sights on conference play now, as the Cowgirls welcome Utah State to town for a 6:30 p.m., match Sept. 23.
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