Cowgirls Volleyball Earn Border War Split
LARAMIE -- One day after losing to Colorado State in straight sets, 24 hours later, it was the Wyoming volleyball team's chance to flip the script, besting the Rams in four thrilling sets Saturday inside the UniWyo Sports Complex.
Set scores went 27-25, 25-19, 23-25 and 25-22.
The Cowgirls (5-3, 5-3 MW) took the first two sets over their Border Rival, before allowing CSU to steal set three. In the fourth set, it was Wyoming's turn to rally as the Cowgirls came back to end the set and match on a 6-0 run.
Much like on Friday night, the first set Saturday was hotly contested and went extra points as the Cowgirls rallied from down 24-22 to score five of the next six and take the first set. Set two was pretty much all Cowgirls as UW led the Rams (4-4, 4-4 MW) for most of the set, pushing the match to the brink. In set three, it looked like Saturday would be a Cowgirl sweep as they led 22-15 in the third.
However, the Rams would not go away quietly, scoring 10 of the next 11 points to force the match to a fourth set.
Wyoming trailed in the fourth set by as many as six points, 17-11, before four consecutive points from the Cowgirls whittled the deficit down to 17-15. Eventually, CSU got its lead back up to three points, 22-19 before a service error from the Rams and back-to-back service aces from Abby Olsen, knotted things up at 22-22.
After back-to-back attack errors from the Rams, Emersen Cyza's 20th kill of the night ended the match.
Cyza's 20 kills were not only a match-high, but a career-high for the sophomore as she hit .289 on the night. In total, the Cowgirls had four with double-figure kills in the win as KC McMahon and Jackie McBride added 13 and 12, respectively and Hailey Zuroske chipped in with 10. McBride hit .611 in the contest and also tallied a match-best eight (four solo, four assisted) total blocks.
UW out-blocked the Rams 14-9 on Saturday. Zuroske tallied her first-ever double-double as she added a season-best 13 digs as well.
Abby Olsen was one dig shy of her first career double-double as the setter notched 43 assists and nine digs on the night. Olson also had three of UW's four service aces on the evening. In the back row, Erika Jones led the way with a career-best 19 digs while Corin Carruth and Kaitlyn Gehler each added nine apiece.
For the match, Wyoming hit .238 overall as a team while Colorado State notched a .157 attack percentage. The Rams had seven aces and six serving errors on the night while UW had four aces and eight errors.
"The biggest difference between tonight and last night was confidence and the will to compete," said UW head coach Chad Callihan after the match.
"I thought that last night we played pretty well to start the night and then you could see us get pretty tight and things snowballed. Tonight, we just limited those moments. We're a good team, we're a good squad, and we just have to get them to build that confidence. We have a lot of new pieces on the floor."
With the win, Wyoming improves to 3-1 on the season at home and will continue its four-match homestand next weekend as San Diego State comes to town for matches March 5 and 6.
* University of Wyoming press release
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