Cowgirls send out seniors with a four-set win
* University of Wyoming athletics media relations release
LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team sent its seniors out in style Thursday inside the UniWyo, as the Cowgirls rallied for a four-set victory over Fresno State on Senior Night. After dropping the first set 25-18, UW rallied to win the next three to take the match and avenge a loss earlier this season to the Bulldogs.
The two teams split the first two sets, with Fresno State (11-12, 7-8 MW) controlling most of the opening set and the Cowgirls (16-12, 8-8 MW) leading much of the second. However in the third, Fresno State seemed to take control, jumping out to a 9-2 lead in the set before the Cowgirls rallied.
Wyoming would whittle away at the Fresno lead slowly in the set, before eventually surpassing the Bulldogs in the third after a 7-1 run turned a 19-16 deficit, into a 23-20 Cowgirl advantage. From that point until the end of the set, FSU would only get to within two points, and the Cowgirls grabbed a two sets to one advantage.
The fourth was a thriller, despite the Cowgirls leading from wire-to-wire. Fresno State did tie the set up five different times, including the last two times at 24-24 and 25-25. But, back-to-back kills from KC McMahon and Hailey Zuroske clinched the set and the match for Wyoming.
McMahon led all players with 12 kills in the win while Faith Waitsman added 11 in her final home action as a Cowgirl. Naya Shimé added to the balanced UW attack, adding nine kills of her own. Lydeke King and Jackie McBride meanwhile, chipped in with six kills each. The duo also led the way with four total each blocks on the night.
Team wise, Fresno out-blocked the Cowgirls 14-10 overall for the match, while both teams collected eight service aces. Payton Chamberlain and Zuroske led Wyoming in that category with two apiece. The Cowgirls hit .179 on the night, while holding the Bulldogs to just a .144 clip.
Erika Jones tallied a match-high 15 digs in the win, her 13th consecutive match with at least 10 digs. Chamberlain, Abby Olsen and Zuroske all added eight digs on the night. Olsen, who also played in her final home match, tallied 18 assists, while Chamberlain led the Cowgirls with 23 helpers.
In all, Wyoming honored five incredible seniors Thursday night as Kaitlyn Gehler, McBride, Olsen, Kya Slavik and Waitsman were all recognized before the match.
Wyoming now shifts its focus to closing out the season on the road next week as the Cowgirls travel to face Boise State and Utah State. The Cowgirls still have a chance to qualify for the Mountain West Tournament in two weeks as the top six in the standings make it. UW is currently a half-match behind New Mexico for the No. 6 seed.
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