Cowgirls hang on to beat Air Force

Nov. 18—The University of Wyoming volleyball team staved off a furious rally from Air Force on Thursday to hang on to a four-set win in the penultimate match of the regular season.

The Cowgirls beat the Falcons 25-13, 25-22, 23-25 and 26-24.

After dominating the first set and hanging on in the second to take a 2-0 lead, the Cowgirls (19-9 overall, 8-9 Mountain West) looked to be well within control. However, after Air Force (17-11, 9-8) rallied to win the third, the Falcons looked like they were going to take the fourth set as well.

UW trailed 19-14 late in the fourth before rallying back. UW also faced set-point at 24-23, but three-straight points for the Cowgirls finished off the rally to give them their first of two needed wins in the final weekend of the regular season.

Paige Lauterwasser had a big night in leading the Cowgirls with a career-high 14 kills. Lauterwasser hit an even .500 in the match, and also added a pair of blocks.

Corin Carruth was the other Cowgirl with double-digit kills, as she had 11 to go along with four block assists. Rylee Schulz added nine kills and hit .353. In the middle, Tierney Barlow and Sarah Holcomb both tallied eight kills.

The duo was also a terror defensively, as Barlow had eight blocks and Holcomb notched seven. Kasia Partyka added four blocks as well. Partyka had a solid all-around match, tallying a match-high 44 assists to go along with six digs and four kills.

In the back row, Zoee Smith notched 10 digs while Sierra Grizzle added nine. Schulz had seven digs in the victory.

Overall, UW hit .353 and had a huge advantage in blocks, out-blocking the Falcons 15-3. AFA hit just .187 in the contest. UW also had a 5-3 edge in service aces.

Both teams had 54 kills Thursday, with the Falcons carrying a 51-42 advantage in total digs. The Cowgirls next shift their focus to senior night and a matchup with New Mexico.

A trip to the Mountain West tournament is on the line against the Lobos. The Cowgirls must win and get some help in order to qualify.

UW needs another loss from Air Force (at Colorado State) and a loss from Boise State (at Fresno State) Saturday.

Carruth, Smith and Holly Eastridge will all be honored for senior night against New Mexico on Saturday in the UniWyo Sports Complex.

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