The University of Wyoming Cowgirls volleyball team used Friday’s opener of the UniWyo Invitational as an appetizer against winless Binghamton while Friday night’s main course came against Arizona State.
The Cowgirls got their fill from both.
UW swept Binghamton 25-9, 25-15, 25-12, then outmuscled the physical Sun Devils 25-20, 25-16, 20-25, 25-22. The nightcap came in front of a near-full house of 1,085 inside the UniWyo Sports Complex and the Cowgirls had the place jumpin’ from the start.
UW (7-1) jumped on top of the Sun Devils (6-2) early in the first set, building leads of 13-7 and 19-12 before cruising to the five-point win.
“Part of our strength is we’re coming out and getting things done right away in the first set,” UW junior outside hitter Halie McArdle said. “Last year it was a big factor that we couldn’t finish sets when we should of, and let some teams back into matches. That’s one thing we’re doing really good right now.”
The second set with ASU was tighter at the start, with UW leading 12-11 before running off 13 of the set’s last 17 points.
Arizona State battled back from a 14-10 deficit in the third set to score six of the last seven points for its only set victory.
The fourth set was close throughout, with 13 ties, the last coming at 15-15. A McArdle kill gave UW the lead for good at 16-15, a lead that stretched to 20-17. Four times ASU climbed within a point late, but a McArdle kill gave UW a 24-22 lead and seniors Emily Lewis and Reed Copeland ended the match with a deafening block.
“I never thought we played fantastic there, but we were efficient offensively,” Cowgirls coach Chad Callihan said. “We just did what we had to do to squeak out that last one there, so it was a good win against a good opponent.”
McArdle tied for team-high honors in kills against Binghamton with nine and added 11 kills and seven digs against Arizona State.
At 5-foot-9, the Gretna, Nebraska, junior might be the most imposing figure at the net, but she’s become one of Callihan’s go-to players.
“I think a lot of people missed on Halie in the recruiting process because of her size,” Callihan said. “She is the glue that makes us go. We’re not the same when she’s not out there. I always know I’m going to get her ‘A’ game.”
Sophomore Jackie McBride led UW against ASU with 13 kills and added six blocks while Copeland had 11 kills and a match-high 11 blocks.
As a team the Cowgirls had 17 blocks compared to seven for the Sun Devils.
Junior outside hitter Tara Traphagan added 10 kills and Lewis seven.
Arizona State was led by Ivana Jeremic with 26 kills.
UW’s setter duo of junior Cory Aafedt and sophomore Marissa Harmon totaled 45 assists while junior defensive specialist Madi Fields led the team with 14 digs.
“We have enough assets offensively where we can switch the ball around score,” McArdle said. “I feel like they (the opposition) look to the taller players sometimes and I can sneak my kills in. As long as we’re scoring and we’re doing well, it doesn’t matter who gets the points.”
UW had a balanced attack against Bearcats with McBride adding nine kills, Traphagan six and Copeland five. Copeland also had eight blocks.
UW will close out the UniWyo Invite at 1 p.m. today against Murray State.
“These wins will be pretty diminished if we don’t come out to play tomorrow,” Callihan said. “We’ve just got to make sure we’re ready to go tomorrow. We’ve got to have that same effort and same intensity even though the name on the jersey is different from our opponent.”
COWGIRLS 3, BEARCATS 0
Binghamton 9 15 12
Wyoming 25 25 25
(KILLS-BLOCKS-DIGS-ASSISTS): Jackie McBride 9-0-3-0, Tara Traphagan 7-3-0-0; Emily Lewis 6-0-2-0, Reed Copeland 5-8-1-0;, Halie McArdle 9-1-6-1, Cori Aafedt 0-0-2-19, Madi Fields 0-0-9-2, Kaytlen Chase 0-0-3-0, KC McMahon 0-0-0-0, Marissa Harmon 0-1-3-12, Faith Waitsman 1-3-1-0. Totals: 39-17-32-34.
(KILLS-BLOCKS-DIGS-ASSISTS): Kiara Adams 2-0-4-18, Tyra Wilson 3-2-0-1, Keghlian Victoria 0-0-0-0, Eric Schultz 8-0-3-1, Lexi LaGoy 1-0-1-0, Alicea Gaby 9-1-6-0, Kaner Elizabeth 0-0-4-0, Kim Lavender 0-0-3-0, Samantha Gioiosa 1-0-9-2, Stephanie Andruskova 0-1-1-0. Totals: 23-5-31-23.
COWGIRLS 3, SUN DEVILS 1
Arizona State 20 16 25 22
Wyoming 25 25 20 25
(KILLS-BLOCKS-DIGS-ASSISTS): Jackie McBride 13-6-1-0, Reed Copeland 11-11-1-1, Halie McArdle 11-2-7-0, Tara Traphagan 10-6-5-0, Emily Lewis 7-5-5-0, Faith Waitsman 3-3-0-0, KC McMahon 2-0-2-0, Marissa Harmon 1-0-7-22, Cori Aafedt 0-0-6-23, Madi Fields 0-0-14-4, Jaiden Chase 0-0-7-2. Totals: 58-17-55-42.
(KILLS-BLOCKS-DIGS-ASSISTS): Ivana Jeremic 26-2-6-0; Alyse Ford 12-1-3-0, Megan Beedie 5-4-0-1, Carmen Unzue 5-1-0-0, Claire Kovesnky 3-0-5-0, Nicole Peterson 2-0-10-1, Avital Jaloba 1-1-0-0, Courtney Leffel 1-0-20-1, Shelbie Dobmeier 0-2-10-47; Halle Johnson 0-0-10-2, Paige Denton 0-0-2-0. Totals: 55-7-66-52.