LARAMIE, Wyo. (August 21, 2019) – The Wyoming volleyball team will lift the lid on the 2019 season with a pair of exhibitions this weekend as a tune-up prior to the regular season beginning next Friday.
The Cowgirls will host the annual Brown & Gold scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 23, at 6:30 p.m. in the UniWyo Sports Complex. This will be the first opportunity for fans to see the Cowgirls in action this season.
Then, on Saturday, Aug. 24, Wyoming will head to Cheyenne for an exhibition match against Nebraska-Kearney. The match will be at Cheyenne East High School at 6:30 p.m. Admission costs $10, and fans are encouraged to join the tailgate party that starts at 5 p.m. in the parking lot. There will be free pizza and soda while supplies last. Additionally, the Cowgirls will host a skills clinic at Cheyenne East HS from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., which costs $10 and includes free admission to the exhibition match.
The Wyoming volleyball team looks forward to another outstanding season in 2019 as the team returns nine players from the 2018 squad that finished 20-11 overall and advanced to the postseason for the second consecutive season.
Among the returners to the Cowgirl team are senior libero Madi Fields, senior outside hitter Halie McArdle and 2017 All-MW selection Tara Traphagan, a senior outside hitter. Also returning is two-time All-MW junior middle blocker Jackie McBride.
With 122 wins since arriving at Wyoming, head coach Chad Callihan is only two wins from tying former Cowgirl coach Mike English as the winningest coach in program history. Callihan is in his seventh season at the helm of the Cowgirl program, and has averaged 20.3 wins per season at UW. His teams have finished in the top four of the MW standings every year and his .649 winning percentage is the best in program history.
This season, the Cowgirls will take on four teams that competed in the 2018 NCAA Volleyball Tournament, and six that earned invites to the NIVC. Overall, seven of Wyoming’s 11 nonconference games will feature teams that played in the postseason a year ago.
Preseason Team Notes:
∙ The Cowgirls’ 20 wins in 2018 marked the program’s fourth 20-win season in the Chad Callihan era and the first since 2015.
∙ Wyoming hosted the first postseason volleyball match in program history when the Cowgirls matched up with Utah Valley in the first round of the NIVC.
∙ With their second-straight selection to the NIVC, the Cowgirls have made back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time since 1990.
∙ The Cowgirls finished tops in the MW in blocks per set (2.86) and total blocks (340.5). Those totals ranked seventh and eighth in the nation, respectively.
∙ Wyoming recorded 579 block assists as a team in 2018. That total ranks third in school history.
∙ The Cowgirls recorded 340.5 total blocks in 2018. That total ranks fifth in program history.
∙ The Pokes’ season hitting percentage of .243 ranked second in the MW and 46th nationally. Wyoming held opponents to a .162 hitting percentage, which ranked second in the MW and 17th nationally.
∙ The Cowgirls’ hitting percentage of .243 is tied for fourth in school history, and stands as the best mark for a Cowgirl team since 2014.
∙ Wyoming finished 14-2 overall at home. Their .875 home winning percentage ranked 38th in the country.
Preseason Individual notes
∙ Junior Libero Madi Fields finished with 488 digs, which ranks fourth on the single-season program list and stands as the most since Allison Waldvogel’s 520 in 2015.
∙ Fields recorded nine matches with 20 or more digs.
∙ Three Cowgirls finished the season with 115 or more blocks in Reed Copeland (195), Jackie McBride (131) and Tara Traphagan (116). Only six other schools accomplished that feat: Stanford, Utah Valley, Cleveland State, Washington State, UCF and Illinois.
∙ Three Cowgirls return that recorded at least 230 kills last season: Halie McArdle (276), Tara Traphagan (246) and Jackie McBride (235).