Cowgirls Open Season With Five-Game Win Over Wolverines

Aug. 24, 2007

OREM, Utah -

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The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (1-0 overall) opened up the 2007 season with a tough five game victory (30-24, 24-30, 24-30, 30-17, 15-7) against the Utah Valley University Wolverines (0-1 overall) on Friday night in Orem, Utah.

Cowgirl seniors Angie Hellbaum and Rachel Smith finished the night with double-figure kills. Hellbaum recorded a career high 26 kills and 59 attempts while hitting .407 (26-2-59). She also added ten digs and one block assist. Smith finished her night with 26 kills, 17 digs and hit .311 (26-7-61) for the match. Junior setter Tasha Weishahn had a career night with 64 assists. Five Cowgirls hit the double-figure mark in digs led by Carissa Lee with 18 followed by Smith and Weishahn with 17, Samantha Eley with 16 and Hellbaum with ten. Wyoming hit .261 (72-23-188) on the night and recorded eight total team blocks.

Utah Valley was led by Camie Manwill who came off the bench and had 19 kills and 17 digs. She was followed by Jessica Enders with 18 kills and Meagan Bluth with ten. Allyce Wilson led the way with 21 digs. The Wolverines hit .156 (63-33-192) fro the match and out blocked the Cowgirls 12.5 to 8.

"I was pleased to come away with a victory in this match," said Cowgirl head coach Pat Stangle. "Utah Valley is a scrappy team and it was tough to open up on their home court. We were able to play well enough to come away with a win. Overall, I was pleased with the performances by our seniors Angie Hellbaum and Rachel Smith. They both had great matches."

In game one, both teams started out a little tentative with the score staying very close. With it all tied up at 12-12, Utah Valley went on a 7-5 scoring run to go up by two, but the Cowgirls quickly tied it up at 19 all. The Wolverines would score the next point and then Wyoming would answer by scoring the next eight of eleven to go up by five, 27-22. They would close things out and take the first game 30-24.

Game two had the Wolverines dominate from beginning to end. They would open up with the early 7-2 lead, while the Cowgirls pulled to within four, 7-3. Unfortunately, that would be as close as they would get as Utah Valley ran away with the 30-24 win in the game.

Wyoming seemed to gain the upper hand in game three as they took a 9-6 advantage. The Wolverines quickly went on a 13-4 run to open up a 19-13 lead. They would hold on to that lead until the Cowgirls closed the gap to one 23-22. For the Cowgirls they would struggle scoring only three more points the remainder of the way as Utah Valley took game three by the same score 30-24.

It was close in the early going of the fourth game until the momentum seemed to shift in the way of the Cowgirls. With the score tied at 8-8, they went on a 9-4 run to open up a 17-12 margin. They would increase that lead to seven, 22-15, and ended up closing out the game by scoring eight of ten to win 30-17.

The Cowgirls gained the upper hand early in game five as they jumped out to a 5-1 advantage. Utah Valley responded with a 5-1 run of their own to pull within one, 6-5. Wyoming responded by out scoring the Wolverines 9-1 to come away with a 15-7 win in the game and a 3-2 victory in the match.

Wyoming will close out the weekend tomorrow night against the Weber State Wildcats in Ogden. The match is set to begin at 7:00 p.m.