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By Scott Nulph

McBride makes most of opportunity

Cowgirls redshirt freshman was a bright spot for team last weekend


August 31, 2017

COURTESY/ SHANNON BRODERICK/ Boomerang photographer

Wyoming's Jackie McBride spikes the ball over Abilene Christian's Lauren Walker during Saturday's match at the UniWyo Sports Complex.

McBride makes most of opportunity

Cowgirls redshirt freshman was a bright spot for team last weekend

By Scott Nulph


LARAMIE – The University of Wyoming volleyball team may have found out a little about itself in somewhat of a lost weekend.

The Cowgirls went 1-2 in the Rumble in the Rockies, including Saturday losses to Abilene-Christian and Portland.

Yet in the disappointment of dropping two games the team felt it should have won, UW redshirt freshman middle blocker Jackie McBride proved she is more than capable of contributing this season.

McBride finished the weekend with 24 kills (third on the team), 12 blocks (first) and a hitting percentage of .314 (second).

The best part of McBride's play was her consistency in an inconsistent weekend, Cowgirls coach Chad Callihan said.

"She was solid in all three matches, which is something I really appreciated, especially in your first full collegiate weekend," Callihan said. "Sometimes with younger players, you see them have a good match here and then they're down and you have this roller-coaster effect.

"(McBride) was pretty steady all weekend and it was something we felt we could consistently count on."

The 6-foot-1 McBride came to UW after a standout prep career at Rangeview High in Aurora, Colorado.

But with then seniors Laura Beach and Kayla Slofkiss controlling the net, UW elected to redshirt McBride, a decision she endorsed.

"I'm so grateful that I was able to redshirt," McBride said. "Taking the opportunity to not stress about playing and having an entire season and spring to try to retain as much knowledge about the game was great for me.

"Redshirting definitely prepared me for what happened this past weekend."

McBride also had five digs and four ace serves for the Cowgirls and Callihan said she took a bigger role on offense as the weekend progressed.

"The goals we've set for her, she can certainly attain," Callihan said. "We don't need her to go out and go for 20 kills and 10 blocks per night, we just need her to be consistent and that was a nice sign for her through the first weekend."

Of all her statistics from the opening weekend, McBride was most proud of her 12 total blocks, which included two solo blocks.

"I love a good block," she said. "Nothing creates energy like a good stuff block. I was happy that I was able to make those adjustments and show up for the team."

McBride and the Cowgirls are back at home this weekend with the UniWyo Invite. The Cowgirls host Eastern Michigan at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Jacksonville and Purdue at noon and 7 p.m. Saturday, respectively. The Boilermakers are ranked No. 21 in this week's ACVA Coaches Poll.

"This (past) weekend didn't show the results we wanted, but it did show us what we need to work on and get some game experience with each other," McBride said. "We just want to have purpose, passion and professionalism at all times this season.

"It showed us it's not easy to have all three of those on the court if you're not 100 percent into it."

Added Callihan: "We need to be better defensively with blocking and serving and the mindset we go into each match with. The mindset we went into the 12 o'clock match on Saturday with was not the same that we went in to the Friday evening match (a 3-0 win over South Dakota) with.

"I've seen a very good Wyoming team play and a pretty below-average Wyoming team play. If the former shows up, it could be a very good weekend for us."


The Cowgirls are home for two matches this weekend.

UW hosts Texas-El Paso at 4:30 p.m. Friday and McNeese State at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex.

The Cowgirls are coming off a 2-1 double overtime loss at Kentucky on Sunday.

It was the second consecutive heartbreaker for UW on the road after falling 2-1 in overtime at Baylor the week prior.

"Obviously we're pleased that we played close games against teams like Kentucky and Baylor, but at the end of the day a loss is a loss," Cowgirls coach Pete Cuadrado said. "It's frustrating being right there, but not getting the results we want. But games like this are still good preparation for conference play."


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