LARAMIE – A late rally in the first set gave the University of Wyoming women’s volleyball team the momentum it needed to get its 11th home win of the season.
The Cowgirls topped Boise State, 28-26, 25-20, 25-16, on Thursday night for their fourth sweep in the previous five games.
Boise State started the contest aggressive on offense, and took a quick 3-0 lead behind three kills and continued to hold a comfortable lead early in the opening set.
UW gained traction and went on a six-point run to grab an 11-10 lead before the Broncos went on a run of their own and held a 21-17 advantage.
The Cowgirls (18-8, 13-2 Mountain West) rallied together to win a close first set.
BSU had 22 kills in the opening set but also committed seven errors, which aided in the Cowgirls’ ability to win the set.
“We were down there a good bit and (in our second timeout) we talked about applying service pressure,” UW coach Chad Callihan said. “We knew this was a good team and we thought we could get them out of their system a little bit.
“That was probably the biggest difference. The service pressure allowed us to get a couple of nice runs and a couple of key sideouts.”
Again, the Cowgirls pulled away late, scoring six of the final seven points in the second set.
Neither team could gain an advantage in the start of the second set until UW went a on a 5-0 run to lead 15-10.
That lead vanished and soon the set was tied 19-19.
Halie McArdle found her stride toward the end of the set and scored four of the final six points for the Cowgirls, including the final three points of the set, which were all kills. McArdle notched five of her 10 kills in the second set.
“We knew that (Boise) is talented, but our defense needed to step up in the second and third sets,” UW middle blocker Jackie McBride said.
“Once we were able to establish a better block in the second set our diggers were able to get better releases and it all trickles down from that.”
UW outplayed BSU for the entirety of the final set.
After scoring the first point, the Broncos were a victim to the Cowgirls’ heavy swings the remainder of the set.
The Cowgirls’ outside hitters took turns at the net and gave the home team to a 15-3 advantage behind nine kills.
Boise State (16-10, 8-7) couldn’t get back in it and Mackenzie Coates ended the match by scoring on a setter’s attack.
“I enjoy that competition (of playing against quality teams) and I enjoy letting our team match up and see what we’re capable of,” Callihan said. “I think that’s how you tell if we’re growing as a team and that’s probably one of my favorite things about this group, is that we continue to grow.”
KC McMahon paced the Cowgirls with 13 kills, and McBride added 11.
Libero Madi Fields notched 22 kills on the night.
The Cowgirls hit at a .292 percentage for the match compared to the Broncos’ .237 percent.
Wyoming hosts Utah State at 6:30 p.m. tonight for its last home game of the season.