* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team will play its first Mountain West matches at home this week as the Cowgirls host UNLV and San Diego State.

Wyoming and the defending regular season MW-Champion UNLV, face off at 6:30 p.m., Thursday inside the UniWyo Sports Complex.

Saturday’s match against San Diego State is at 7:30 p.m., and will be in the Arena-Auditorium.

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The Cowgirls (11-2, 0-2 MW) are in search of their first conference victories in 2023 after dropping a pair of road matches last week to begin league action. UW lost a hard-fought five-setter at defending Mountain West Tournament Champion, Utah State Thursday before closing the week with a four-set loss at Boise State.

In the loss at USU, Rylee Schulz tallied a career-high 21 kills and hit .348. Against Boise, Tierney Barlow paced the Cowgirls with 17 kills and seven total blocks, while hitting .469.

Barlow enters this week’s matches leading the league in hitting percentage at a .406 clip. Barlow leads the Cowgirls in blocks and ranks fifth in the MW with 1.18 per set. Barlow’s 4.32 points per set rank fifth-best in the conference while her 3.32 kills a set are eighth. Schulz, meanwhile, ranks seventh in the league averaging 3.32 kills per set. Sarah Holcomb’s .391 hitting percentage is third in the Mountain West.

Kasia Partyka recorded her sixth double-double of 2023 in the loss at Boise State Saturday, recording 47 assists to go along with 13 digs. Partyka continues to lead the league and ranks fourth in the nation averaging 11.28 assists per set. As a team, UW’s 13.06 assists and 13.84 kills per set leads the Mountain West and ranks 12 and 23, respectively in the NCAA.

Saturday’s contest against San Diego State will feature a ticket promotion for the match. Any fan that shows their ticket from the UW football game earlier in the day, will get into the volleyball match for half-off.

UNLV is the defending Mountain West champions and enters Thursday night riding a six-match winning streak. The Lady Rebels are led by the reigning Mountain West Player of the Year, Isabel Martin who ranks second in the league in kills (4.38) and points (4.93) per set. As a team, UNLV is second behind only Wyoming averaging 13.46 kills per set while leading the league with a .278 team hitting percentage. Arien Fafard is averaging 7.59 assists per set, which ranks seventh in the conference. UNLV averages 1.75 blocks per set as a squad, but leads the MW averaging 1.98 service aces per set.

San Diego State has a pair of student-athletes with 100-plus kills so far in 2023. Madison Corf leads the team with 125 kills (2.91 per set) while Taylor Underwood has 107 (2.43). SDSU uses two setters in its offense with Fatimah Hall (5.52) and Sarena Gonzalez (5.45) leading the way in that category. In the back row, the Aztecs are led by McKenna Douglas' 3.34 digs per set. As a squad, SDSU is hitting .214 while opponents are hitting .236.

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