Cowgirl Volleyball Comes Away With UniWyo Wyoming Invite Title

Aug 31, 2013


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The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (4-0 overall) went undefeated over the weekend as they took home the UniWyo Wyoming Invite Championship, on Saturday night, in Laramie. They earned a four set victory over the Montana State Bobcats (29-27, 25-23, 25-27, 26-24) followed by a three set sweep against the Drake Bulldogs (25-15, 25-23, 25-18). Erin Kirby was named MVP of the Tournament while senior Reese Plante and freshman Courtney Chacon were named to the All-Tournament Team.

"It's been a long day and a long weekend. I thought we came out a little flat this morning," said head coach Chad Callihan. "Montana State has a great young team but I think last night was a very emotional match for us so it was hard to get going. We were able to score points in critical times and then tonight we came out and played really crisp. There are a few areas we need to improve upon, but everyone has those at this time of the year.

"I thought Courtney Chacon came in last night and did a great job for us. She was a spark plug for us and it carried over into today with two nice matches. Reese and Erin are good in the middle for us. I credit our passing to allow us to get them the ball that much. They do a great job for us and provided us some good defense with the block."

It was back and forth in the early going against Montana State. The two teams were all tied at seven through the first 14 points. The Cowgirls went on a 9-5 run to give them a four-point lead, 16-12. After a Bobcat timeout, they scored the next three points to pull to within one, 16-15. A kill by Bridget Shanahan ended the run and Wyoming maintained a two or three point lead over the next several points. Down 20-18, MSU scored the next four of five to regain a one point lead, 22-21. The Cowgirls rallied back with a 3-1 run to earn set point, 24-23. The Bobcats managed to hold off two set points before earning a couple of their own. With the score 27-26 in favor of MSU, Wyoming scored the final points to take the set, 29-27.

The second set started off much the same way as the first with both teams trading scores. With it even at five, the Cowgirls scored three straight points to go ahead 8-5 and would extend that to four, 12-8. The Bobcats scored the next three points to make it a one point set, 12-11. Wyoming responded with a 6-3 run to increase the margin back to four, 18-14. After Montana State brought it to within one, 20-19, the Cowgirls scored four of the next six to earn set point, 24-21. The Bobcats held off two set points, but Wyoming held on to take the set 25-23 and a 2-0 lead in the match.

Montana State came out with a little bit of fire in the third set as they went up 6-4 in the early part. The Cowgirls went on a 5-1 run to give them a 9-7 advantage. The Bobcats answered back with eight straight points making it 15-9. An attack error by Eli Svisco of MSU ended the run and the Cowgirls would close the gap to three, 17-14. Three points by the Bobcats put the lead back to six, 20-14. There was no giving up in the UW team as they rallied all the way to tie it up at 23 all. They scored the next point and had one more opportunity to win the set. Unfortunately, Montana State would score three straight points to win the set, 27-25.

The Cowgirls started off the fourth set strong by taking the 8-4 lead, which they maintained over the next stretch of ten points. With the score 14-11, the Bobcats scored three straight to tie it up. A kill by Erin Kirby put Wyoming back on top, but Montana State continued to battle back and even up the score. Kills by Kirby and Slofkiss gave Wyoming a 16-14 lead. After MSU tied it up at 17 all, the two teams traded scores for the next ten points until the Cowgirls took the upper hand at 24-23. The Bobcats held off one set point but Wyoming closed out the set 26-24 and the match 3-1.

Mikaela Ryshytylo led the way with 18 kills and 11 digs, while Erin Kirby continued to play solid with 16 kills and seven total blocks. Becky Stewart finished with a team high 14 digs while setter Courtney Chacon had a career high 53 assists. Wyoming hit .231 (59-23-156) and recorded 19 total team blocks. Montana State was led by Loni Kreun with 22 kills and nine digs followed by Kennadie Clute with 17 kills.

Wyoming started out quickly to begin the match against Drake behind some solid serving from senior Reese Plante. They opened up a 7-1 lead before service error by Plante ended the run. A 7-2 run would extend the lead to double-figures, 14-4. It would be a lead they would maintain over the next several points as Drake couldn't string more than a point or two together. The lead was never in jeopardy as the Cowgirls took set one 25-15.

The Cowgirls continued to dominate out of the gate in set two as they gained an 8-4 lead. Drake would battle their way back into it by scoring five of the next seven to make it 10-9. Three unanswered from UW helped them regain a four point lead, 13-9. The Bulldogs chipped away at the lead with a 6-1 run to take their first lead of the match 15-14. Having to battle back for the first time, the Cowgirls scored five of the next seven behind some solid play from Erin Kirby to go back ahead 19-17. Drake would tie it up and the teams would trade points until the Bulldogs went up 23-22. The Cowgirls kept their composure and scored the final three points to win the set 25-23.

There was not let down for the Cowgirls to begin the third set as they scored the first eight of 11 points to go up 8-3. They would extend that eight with a 6-3 run to make it 14-6. The Bulldogs would chip into the lead and pull to within four, 14-10. Wyoming responded by scoring six of the next nine to make it 20-14. Drake was never able to pull any closer than five as the Cowgirls won the set 25-18 and the match 3-0.

Erin Kirby finished with ten kills, six digs and a .769 (10-0-13) hitting percentage. Mikaela Ryshytylo recorded 14 kills and 13 digs while Kayla Slofkiss added seven kills and three blocks. Wyoming hit .245 (40-15-102) for the match and had nine total team blocks. Amanda Platte paced the Bulldogs with 12 kills followed by Makena Schoene with eight kills.