GREELEY, Colo. - Senior Valerie Brain posted eight kills with a .583 hitting average while junior Kaylin Squyres amassed match highs of 18 kills and 48 attempts, but Wyoming sidestepped a third-set loss in claiming a 26-24, 25-16, 23-25, 25-10 victory over UC Davis at the Hampton Inn & Suites Northern Colorado Classic women's volleyball tournament at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion Friday night.
The Aggies slip to 4-7 overall. The Cowgirls improve to 10-1 for the year.
Brain committed just one error on 12 attempts. Sophomore Kendall Walbrecht added eight kills and three block assists. As a team UC Davis struggled to hitting averages of .147 and minus-.054 in the second and fourth sets, respectively, offsetting its strong performance in the third.
Wyoming received double-digit offense from the trio of junior Kayla Henderson, junior Bridget Shanahan and sophomore Laura Beach, who collectively helped their team compile a .319 average. Senior middle blocker Erin Kirby added 9-1-16 attacking with a match-leading six blocks while no Cowgirl passer allowed a single Aggie service ace.
The two teams battled to 14 ties in the opening set, with UC Davis holding a lead as late as 14-12. Freshman libero Lily Austin served up an ace while Beach and setter Courtney Chacon each scored kills in a run of five straight, giving Wyoming a 17-14 lead. Aggie sophomore Allie Wegener later delivered back-to-back kills to tie the frame at 18-18, and the two teams traded points to a 21-21 deadlock before Kirby notched two kills and a block to establish a 24-22 set point. The Aggies again fought back to a 24-24 tie before Beach's kill and Chacon's ace closed out the set.
Wyoming only committed one error and hit .462 to pull away from a 9-9 tie to a 19-12 lead in the second. UC Davis suffered six of its seven attack errors down the final stretch in heading to the break trailing 2-0 in the match.
The Aggies responded in the third set, rallying behind the serving of setter Erika Conners to pull from a close 9-8 advantage to a more comfortable 18-11 edge. Squyres and Walbrecht each had two kills in an 11-point span to forge that lead. The UC Davis offense stumbled, suffering four straight attack errors to see its lead wither to 22-18. Shanahan knocked down a pair of kills in another 4-0 run that closed the gap further to a snug 23-22 edge, but the Aggies held off and prevented the Wyoming sweep with a two-point win in the third stanza.
Brain had a kill and a block in a 3-1 UC Davis start before Wyoming stormed back to dominate the fourth set. Henderson scored five kills and assisted on three blocks to account for almost a third of her team's points. Kirby also had three block assists and delivered three kills during an 8-2 stretch that put the Cowgirls up by a 13-6 margin. Henderson's net and attack play highlighted the 11-2 Wyoming run to end the set and match.
Friday's loss marks the first time UC Davis has been held to no service aces since back-to-back conference matches at Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton on October 14 and 15, 2011. The 29 attack errors also ties a season high.
Wyoming entered Friday's match ranked seventh nationally with a .311 hitting average.
The Aggies continue Northern Colorado Classic action on Saturday with matches against the host Bears and first-time opponent Hampton.