Wyoming Volleyball Comes Up Short In Season Opener

Aug. 26, 2005

Seattle, Wash. -

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In a thrilling opener to the 2005 season and the University of Washington Husky Challenge, the Cowgirl volleyball team lost a disappointing five-game match (30-27, 29-31, 30-19, 21-30, 15-13) against the Montana State Bobcats on Friday night in Seattle, Wash.

"We had our opportunities to win this match, but we couldn't close it out," said head coach Pat Stangle. "With such a young team, it will be a lot of trial and error. Tasha (Weishahn) set a nice match, Kelsey Loop showed us some good things and the libero's played well, we just need to learn how to finish out the match."

The Cowgirls jumped out quickly in game one by taking an early 8-2 lead. They maintained a significant advantage until the Bobcats evened things up at ten all. They would eventually take the lead going up by as many as three. UW would rally back down 24-21 by scoring the next nine of 15 points to earn the first game, 30-27.

Game two was a real battle as neither team really gained more than a two or three point advantage. The Cowgirls seemed to gain the upper hand as they would go up 29-28 on the Bobcats, but MSU would rally with three straight points and even up the match with a 31-29 win.

Wyoming bounced back quickly as they practically ran away with the third game. Up 10-4, they would increase that lead to ten, 25-15, with a 15-9 run. Montana State never really go back in to it as UW went on to take the game, 30-19.

It was the Bobcats turn to make a comeback as they dominated game four. Wyoming would score the first point, but would never be closer than two points the rest of the way. Montana State led by as many as nine and that was what they would win by, 30-21.

In the fifth and deciding game, the Cowgirls took a very early 3-1 advantage, which was quickly answered by a 6-2 run from MSU. Wyoming kept their composure and managed to even up the score at eight all, but it would be an up hill battle from there. The Bobcats scored the next seven of 12 to win the game 15-13 and the match 3-2.

Five Cowgirls finished the night in double-digit kills, including sophomore Rachel Smith. She recorded a team high 17 kills and 12 digs to lead the way. She was followed by freshman Kelsey Loop who in her first match had 13 kills and hit .206 (13-6-34). Middle blocker Andrea Seele had 12 kills and nine digs, while Angie Hellbaum and Lauren Scott both recorded ten kills. In her first match as the Cowgirl setter, Tasha Weishahn finished with 54 assists and five kills. Fellow freshmen Carissa Lee recorded 17 digs, followed by Samantha Eley with ten. As a team, the Cowgirls hit .221 (69-29-181) and had six total team blocks.

Montana State was led by Laura Viren who came off the bench to record 16 kills and a .324 (16-4-37) hitting percentage. Meggie Malyurek had 15 kills and Megan Zanto finished with 12. The Bobcats hit .268 (67-22-168) on the evening and had eight total team blocks.

The Cowgirls will close out the tournament tomorrow by taking on Gardner-Webb College at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time. They will open up their home season on Thursday, Sept. 1 against Boise State when they will host the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic.