LARAMIE, Wyo. (Sept. 13, 2017) – The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball program closes out the nonconference portion of the 2017 schedule when it travels to Tulsa, Okla., to compete in the Oral Roberts Invitational this weekend. The Cowgirls will compete against Central Arkansas at 4 p.m. MT on Friday before meeting Tulsa at 12 p.m. and Oral Roberts at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Last Time Out
UW concluded the Pepperdine Asics Classic on Saturday by falling to then eighth-ranked Washington. Sophomore Halie McArdle led the Brown and Gold with a career-best 11 kills and also tied her career-high of eight digs against the Huskies. McArdle was also named to the All-Tournament team after leading UW with 26 kills (2.89 kps). Wyoming dropped matches against Pepperdine and Missouri State in the Pepperdine Asics Classic before facing Washington.
Junior Emily Lewis has been a consistent force for the Cowgirls during the first three weeks of play. She leads the team with 108 kills (3.27 kps), with sophomore Tara Trapahgan next in line with 73 kills (2.21 kps). Sophomore Madi Fields has led UW in every match this season in digs to carry a team-best 4.58 digs per set (151) through the first nine matches. Additionally, redshirt sophomore Jackie McBride has 39 total blocks (1.18 bps) and freshman Marissa Harmon has 292 assists (8.85 aps) after three weekends of play to lead Wyoming.
Central Arkansas holds an 8-1 overall mark heading into the Oral Roberts Invite. The Bears only loss of the season came against Central Florida last Saturday. Jeni Jones Chatman is in her third season at the helm of UCA volleyball and sports a 40-28 record. Junior right side Samantha Anderson and senior middle blocker Megan Nash were named the Southland Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week on Aug. 28, after helping the Bears pick up three wins at the Buffalo Invite. On the season, Anderson is second on team with 99 kills (3.41 kps), as junior outside hitter Haley Tippett has 100 (3.33 kps) on the year. Nash has a team-high 31 total blocks (1.1 bps), as sophomore setter Elizabeth Armstrong is leading the team with 304 (10.13 aps) assists on the season.
Tulsa sports a 5-4 record after picking up a win against Texas Southern at the Stephen F. Austin Invitational last weekend. The Golden Hurricane swept through the Cougar Classic Sept. 1-2 with victories over UMKC, the SIUE Cougars and Wright State. Sophomore defensive specialist Taylor Horsfall was named the American Defensive Player of the Week following the tournament. Ryan Wills is in his fourth season as head coach of the Golden Hurricane and he currently has a 59-45 record at the school. Leading Tulsa so far this season is junior outside hitter Emily Thorson with 133 kills (3.91 kps). Freshman setter Lindsey Ledyard has dished out 323 assists (9.79 aps) through the first nine matches, as sophomore defensive specialist Taylor Horsfall has a team-best 180 digs (5.29 dps).
Oral Roberts comes into the weekend with 3-6 mark after most recently picking up wins against Southern and Central Florida. The Golden Eagles were led last week by senior outside hitter Laura Milos. Milos was tabbed as the Summit League Offensive Player of the Week after recording 53 kills in ten sets over the weekend. It was the 12th honor of her career. She is currently ranked first in the league in kills (156) and kills per set (5.03), which is also fifth-best in the NCAA. Additionally, Milos is the NCAA’s current active leader in kills (1,872), kills per set, attacks per set (12.59), service aces (192) and service aces per set (.519). Oral Roberts junior setter Bria Bergman leads the team in assists, with 164 (5.29 aps), while junior libero Tori Roe has a team-best 102 digs (3.29 dps) on the season. In her 15th season and with an overall record of 258-185, ORU is coached by Sheera Shirola.
Wyoming-Central Arkansas Series
This will mark the second meeting between UW and UCA. The first meeting was Aug. 27, 2010 in Laramie, with the Cowgirls coming away with a 3-0 win (later vacated).
Wyoming holds a 2-0 series advantage with Tulsa as both meetings took place in 1998 when the schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference. Wyoming won the first meeting of the year on Oct. 3 with a 3-0 sweep in Laramie, before Tulsa won in five sets on Oct. 29.
Wyoming-Oral Roberts Series
Saturday’s match between the Cowgirls and Golden Eagles will mark the first-ever meeting for the schools.
Live video and stats will be available using the links above. Fans are welcome and encouraged to follow @wyo_volleyball on twitter for updates throughout the weekend.
After the Oral Roberts Invite, Mountain West play will begin for the Cowgirls next Thursday night when UNLV makes its way to Laramie. The match is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. With a start time of 1 p.m., a contest against New Mexico will mark the first conference weekend matchup on Saturday, Sept. 23 and Colorado State will be in Laramie for the Border War on Sept. 26.