Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Scott Nulph
WyoSports 

A lot on line for UW volleyball, cross-country

 

November 10, 2016

COURTESY/ SHANNON BRODERICK/Boomerang photographer

A lot on line for UW volleyball, cross-country Middle blocker Reed Copeland spikes the ball over Nevada's Madison Morell during Saturday's match at the UniWyo Sports Complex.

The University of Wyoming volleyball and cross-country teams face big weekends on the court and the course.

The UW volleyball team is on the road for matches at 7:30 p.m. today at Nevada and at 7 p.m. Saturday at San Diego State. Wyoming begins the weekend one game behind co-Mountain West leaders Colorado State and Boise State for the conference title with five matches left in the regular season.

The UW cross-country teams are in Logan, Utah, for the NCAA Mountain Regional meet Friday.

The top five men's and women's teams earn automatic spots in the NCAA Championships next weekend while individuals can also qualify.

Volleyball

Cowgirls coach Chad Callihan makes no false pretenses about what his team needs to accomplish to have a shot at a MW title later this month.

"I think we probably have to be perfect," he said. "I don't see a Boise (State) or a Colorado State dropping two or more matches here in the final five and that's theoretically what they would have to happen for us to have any let up. But it's better to be talking about this in November than not. We'll take being in the hunt versus not any day."

Wyoming (17-9 overall, 10-3 MW) can go a long way to having a chance to play for the program's first MW volleyball title with two wins this weekend.

The Cowgirls lost to Nevada in five sets on Oct. 15, that result coming two days after a five-set win over SDSU.

"We were pretty good offensively against San Diego State and I think that's why we were able to sneak out a nice win," Callihan said. "And then we turn around on Saturday (against Nevada) and we weren't good offensively and we didn't get the points down the stretch that we needed."

Wyoming climbed to No. 64 in the NCAA RPI rankings with last weekend's sweep of New Mexico and UNLV. But last year UW had an RPI in the upper 40s and didn't receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. So it appears the only way to go dancing is to run through the final matches without a loss and win the MW.

"I think our seniors definitely are," said Callihan when asked if his players might embrace that challenge. "I think sometimes the younger kids don't get it sometimes. It ends so fast and I think our seniors are mature enough to realize that it's coming to an end pretty quick for them."

Cross-country

The Cowgirls and Cowboys didn't have their best days at the MW Championships two weeks ago. It wasn't a good feeling for the teams then, but it might help them Friday at the NCAA Mountain Regional

"I think not doing our best helped us refocus these last two weeks," UW junior Jonah Henry said. "I think we'll be ready to run our best race."

The Cowgirls finished fifth at the conference meet while the Cowboys were sixth.

UW cross-country coach Bryan Berryhill said neither team started the race well, which is something they've been working on prior to the regional.

"We have to go for it and I don't think we did that at the Mountain West," Berryhill said. "I'd rather try to be in top five and maybe get an individual or a team to nationals than run for a safe seventh. I'd rather run for a fourth and get 11th. That's what this race is all about, running to get a chance at one more race."

The Cowgirls were paced by junior Lauren Hamilton at the MW meet. Hamilton placed 13th to earn her second All-Mountain West honor.

But even Hamilton wasn't that happy with her performance.

"I kind of doubted myself during the Mountain West championship," she said. "It was a race that I kind of held myself back a little bit and I'm coming into this race trying to be a little tougher mentally than I was at conference."

Berryhill believes his veteran Cowgirls team has a chance at a top-five finish, but will need to put a complete race together.

Junior Kerry White was 19th at the conference meet with redshirt senior Audra DeStefano placed 23rd and senior Megan Brunette 31st.

"We still haven't put five girls who all put their best races together on the same day yet," Berryhill said. "I've said all year I think we're a top 25 team and I still believe that. Now it's just a matter of mentally buying into that."

Henry led the Wyoming men at conference with a 20th-place finish, followed by sophomore Ricky Faure in 30th, redshirt senior Mike Seas 34th and freshman Christopher Henry 41st.

Wrestling

The Cowboys compete in their second open tournament after hosting the Wyoming Open last Saturday with the UNC Open on Sunday in Greeley, Colorado.

Wyoming won four elite championships last week, with Ben Hornickle (141 pounds), Cole Mendenhall (149), Archie Colgan (157) and Wesley Schultz (184) all taking home titles.

The Cowboys begin their dual schedule with a home match against Nebraska on Nov. 20 at the UniWyo Sports Complex.

 
 

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