Cowgirls spike Utah State, sweep opening weekend
LOGAN, Utah -- Less than 24 hours after having to rally in order to survive a five-setter with Utah State Friday night, the Wyoming volleyball team responded Saturday by sweeping the Aggies in three straight sets. Set scores went 25-21, 25-21 and 25-20.
The Cowgirls (2-0) had a well-balanced attack in the win, recording a .258 hitting percentage on the day and were led by Hailey Zuroske’s eight kills. Naya Shimé added seven in the win while Jackie McBride, KC McMahon and Faith Waitsman all added six kills apiece. Waitsman hit .500 on the day and had three block assists while McBride tallied a match-high five total blocks.
Kyra Slavik led the Cowgirl attack with 31 assists and also added six digs and a pair of blocks against USU (0-2). Kaitlyn Gehler led the back row with 15 digs. The Cowgirls’ serve game was on point in the sweep, as UW tallied eight service aces to Utah State’s four. Zuroske led the way as well in that category with three aces while Abby Olsen and Erika Jones had two each.
Wyoming controlled the match from start-to-finish Saturday, trailing in only the third set and just for a couple of points. In set one, the Cowgirls jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and led by as many as seven points at 20-13 in the first set. USU got to within two points earlier in the set when it was 8-6.
In set two, the Cowgirls led from wire-to-wire but took control of the set after breaking an 8-8 tie with four consecutive points to go up 12-8. Utah State would score the next point after the UW burst, but that would be as close as the Aggies got in the second as the Cowgirls eventually pushed their advantage to 21-13 at one point.
In the third, after falling behind 3-2, the Cowgirls rattled off five quick points, thanks in part to a kill and back-to-back service aces from Zuroske and made it 7-3 Wyoming. Utah State would battle back in the third and eventually took a 12-11 lead. From there on however, Wyoming went on a 10-2 run and took command of the set, 21-16 before closing things out.
For the match, the Cowgirls had a 54 to 44.5 edge in points scored while also more than doubling USU’s blocking efforts (9-4).
Next up for the Cowgirls will be a home showdown against New Mexico beginning Friday, February 12 at 6 p.m. It will be the first of two matches with the Lobos during the weekend as the second match is slated for 11 a.m., Saturday. Friday and Saturday will be UW’s first home matches since December of 2019.
* University of Wyoming press release