* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team staved off a furious rally from the Air Force Academy Thursday night in Laramie, hanging on for a four-set victory over the Falcons in the penultimate match of the regular season. Set scores were 25-13, 25-22, 23-25 and 26-24.

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After dominating the first set and hanging on in the second to take a 2-0 lead in the match, the Cowgirls (19-9, 8-9 MW) looked to be well within control. However, after Air Force (17-11, 9-8 MW) rallied to win the third, the Falcons looked like they were going to take the fourth set as well. Wyoming trailed 19-14 late in the fourth, before rallying back. UW also faced set point at 24-23, but three-straight points for the Cowgirls finished off the rally in the set and Wyoming came away with its first of two needed wins in the final weekend of the regular season.

Individually, Paige Lauterwasser had a big night in leading the Cowgirls with a career-high 14 kills. Lauterwasser hit an even .500 in the match and also added a pair of blocks. Corin Carruth was the other Cowgirl with double-digit kills as she had 11 to go along with four block assists.

Rylee Schulz added nine and hit .353 while in the middle, Tierney Barlow and Sarah Holcomb both tallied eight kills. The duo was also a terror defensively as Barlow had eight blocks and Holcomb notched seven. Kasia Partyka added four blocks as well.

Partyka had a solid all-around match as she tallied a match-high 44 assists to go along with six digs and four kills. In the back row, Zoee Smith notched 10 digs while Sierra Grizzle added nine. Schulz had seven digs in the victory.

Overall, Wyoming hit .353 as a squad and had a huge advantage in blocks, out-blocking the Falcons 15-3. AFA hit just .187 in the contest as well. UW also had a 5-3 edge in service aces. Both teams had 54 kills Thursday with the Falcons carrying a 51-42 advantage in total digs.

Now, the Cowgirls shift their focus to Senior Night and a matchup with New Mexico. A trip to the Mountain West Tournament next week is on the line in the contest. The Cowgirls must win and get some help in order to qualify. UW needs another loss from Air Force (at Colorado State) and a loss from Boise State (at Fresno State) Saturday.

Prior to Saturday’s match, a trio of Cowgirls will be honored for Senior Night. Corin Carruth, Holly Eastridge and Zoee Smith will all be playing in their final matches in the UniWyo Sports Complex.

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